Archive for May, 2007

Barefoot Guerrillas

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

An awakening…two occupied homelands…a young woman’s personal growth.Melati’s journey took her from a cloistered Swiss boarding school to the guerrilla camps of a scorched earth. Her own personal growth from a naive school girl to an independent young woman closely parallels the struggle for independence of her reclaimed homeland.

Harumi Wanasita tells the story of one woman, Melati. She also tells the story of a generation. The Dutch-Indonesian descent people at the time of Indonesia’s declaration of independence were the last generation of their culture. This is their story.

Reflecting the maturing of her character, Harumi varies her writing style as Melati develops. Naive at first for Melati’s wide-eyed innocence, the style is gradually refined as the novel moves through wartime Holland and Melati’s life with the guerrilla fighters in revolutionary Indonesia.

Through all the experiences which make Melati’s story, Harumi retains a language and style reminiscent of an earlier simpler time, when innocence was its own reward.

August 1996
First Edition, Paperback
371pp, 215 x 138 mm
ISBN 0 9587718 5 5
RRP $aud 21.95

The Author
Harumi Wanasita was born in Indonesia during the Dutch colonial period. After education in Europe, she returned to Indonesia during the 1945 – 49 struggle for independence.
Now a widow, Harumi’s former husband was Dr Danudirdjo Setiabuddhi, known before the Indonesian revolution as Dr. E. F. E. Douwes Dekker, who was declared an Indonesian national hero for his support for the nationalist revolution.
Her later husband was the late Major Wayne D. Evans, U.S.A.F.

Harumi has been published in Indonesia, with her works in Dutch and Indonesian appearing during the 1950s. Harumi now lives in San Jose, California. This novel, her first book published in English, is based largely on her own life as a young woman in occupied Holland and revolutionary Indonesia.

A River to Cross

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

Building his own bridges with Japan, ex-digger Richie meets a kindred spirit in a visiting Japanese composer. Sydney in the 1990s is a long way from wartime Papua, but a series of disconnected events takes Richie back fifty years to a strange battlefield encounter.

He remembers Yoshi – the Japanese soldier, like himself, fighting for his country, thinking of his family, his childhood, his future. On the Buna airstrip in December 1942, in a night-time lull in the fighting, they talk of girlfriends, customs, king, emperor, generals and politicians who started the war. Like himself, Yoshi was not sure if he would have a future.

But now, fifty years on, can two ex-servicemen forgive the excesses of war? Can their peoples really get to know each other, or are package tours and international trading as close as they will ever get?

A story of rapprochement between Australian and Japanese WWII soldiers.

Rivers never separated people in the past. So for us, it’s just a river to cross, and then we’re on the other side, meeting new experiences, new people.  

224pp Paperback,216 x 138 mm.
ISBN 0 9578735 1 4;
ISBN-13 9780957873517
Fiction; First Edition November 2001
RRP $22-95

The Author,Arthur Pike, is well-suited to write a novel about rapprochement between ex-WWII soldiers from Australia and Japan. He served in the 1st Australian Mountain Battery as a gunner and forward observation officer’s assistant at Kokoda and Buna, and as a coastwatcher in M Special Unit behind Japanese lines in New Britain.

In early post-war years, he was active in student affairs at Sydney University, as Arts Society secretary, and co-editor of the Arts Society annual magazine, Arna. He was a columnist and associate editor of the university’s newspaper, Honi Soit. Arthur graduated in Arts from Sydney University, and has travelled widely in Europe and Asia.
Dreamtime Beach …and other times, a collection of his poetry was published by Southern Cross University in 1996.

Body and Soul: Lilbet’s Romance

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

body andsoul cover
Set in the summer and autumn of 1938, Body and Soul is eighteen-year-old disabled Lilbet Marks’s very biased account of the love affair between Felix Goldfarb, a recent migrant to Melbourne, and Lilbet’s twin sister Ella. Lilbet adores Ella, but also envies her for being beautiful, for not being disabled and for her ability to dazzle men.

Lilbet’s father Simon Marks, her elder sister Julie, and all their friends are entranced by Felix Goldfarb’s winning blend of worldly sophistication and boyish charm. Only clever Lilbet suspects Felix might not be all that he seems. Also, it is imperative for her physical and psychological wellbeing that Ella remains at the family home, Adeline Terrace, in Caulfield. Lilbet is determined never to be parted from her twin.

Within a few months, Felix departs for Sydney, leaving behind gigantic gambling debts and a pregnant Ella. Though he subsequently sends for Ella, Lilbet manages through clever manipulation to keep her twin by her side.

As Lilbet records the day to day events at home, her newspaper cuttings and notes explore 1938 attitudes in general, the intolerance shown at the time towards the disabled, the ambivalence she feels towards her family, her insecurities, fear of loneliness and the double-edged sword of love and envy.

Though it is a young woman’s musings, the voice is appropriate to the times in which she lived. Among the press clippings, the unconfirmed reports coming out of Hitler’s Germany of anti-Jewish violence and disappearances of whole Jewish communities, and the increasing belligerence of Germany towards her neighbours add to the growing tension for this Jewish family in Melbourne of the 1930s.

September 2003
Fiction; First Edition
ISBN: 0 9578735 9 X
ISBN-13: 9780957873599
RRP $22-95, 240 pp
Paperback, 216 x 138 mm

The Author
Goldie Alexander was born in Melbourne and has lived there most of her life. She writes for adults, young adults and children of all ages, as well as taking workshops and seminars.

For adults
Unjust Desserts, 2002

For younger readers
Seawall, 2002
Killer Virus, 2002
Right and Wrong, 2002 (co-written with Hazel Edwards)
My Story: Surviving Sydney Cove, 2000 (Published in the UK as My Story: Transported, 2002)
Little Big School, 1998
6788, 1997
Email Murder Mystery
, 1997 (co-written with Hazel Edwards)
Astronet, 1996

The Betrayers

Sunday, May 13th, 2007

Cover image of The Betrayers
Things go wrong in a big way for Candy Somerville when her father commits suicide. Feeling herself responsible, she is driven by guilt into a journey to Thailand on an insane mission. When she arrives in Bangkok in 1992 during the uprising against the military junta, a large amount of heroin is found in her baggage, leading to her imprisonment on a capital charge, in the infamous Klong Prem prison.

Her father’s old friend, a consul at the Australian Embassy, offers to get her legal help but she refuses to talk to him. Her brother and their uncle arrive from Sydney expecting to at least win her bail from prison, but she violently rejects their assistance. Sensing a story, the beautiful Bangkok correspondent for a Sydney television channel works on the brother for information. Meanwhile, the consul and her uncle manage to bribe a corrupt Army colonel to release Candy from prison. Much to her dismay, she is released.

And then the colonel discovers he has been compromised by a news report about her release.

In The Betrayers we read the story as told by six very different participants: Candy’s brother, the consul, his mistress, the reporter, the uncle, and finally Candy herself.

Crime fiction, 1st Edition
December 2004
Paperback, 144pp
210 x 138 mm
ISBN: 1 92078704 6

The Author
In 1993, Robert D. Morrison left his profession in print, television and radio journalism in Australia and overseas to concentrate on creative writing. Even in childhood, Robert was a voluminous reader with a strong interest in writing. By the time he was in his twenties he had written many short stories that were published, and three novels that weren’t. In the seventies, two of his one-act plays, The Nightwatchman and Liberated, were performed in Sydney.

In Robert’s writing the idea at the centre of his narrative is paramount and its exploration is the purpose of the story.

Robert’s earlier published books
Last Journey (2000)

For young adults
The Secret Sandwich (Margaret Hamilton Books, 1994) short-listed for the Australian Multicultural Children’s Book Award
Javta’s Ghost (Margaret Hamilton Books, 1996)