Archive for July, 2007

Charlotte Badger – Buccaneer

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

Charlotte Badger became the first white woman to live in New Zealand, after taking part in a mutiny which followed two vicious floggings on board a civilian cargo ship. This novel recreates the adventurous life of this remarkable woman fugitive, her daughter, and their fellow mutineers.

Escaping from Van Diemen’s Land and New South Wales after commandeering the colonial brig, the Venus, the mutineers settle for an initially peaceful life with the Maoris in New Zealand. But simmering tensions within their group eventually burst into the open. The peace is shattered and escape to America is the only chance of survival. But how many will reach America?

This is Charlotte’s story, telling the reader in her own voice, the shock of being condemned to transportation, the drudgery of work in the Female Factory, the delight of little Anny, the baby at her breast, and the companionship of fellow convicts and the crew of the Venus, relaxing in the evening, singing on deck en route to Van Diemen’s Land.

Charlotte tells also of the cruel master of the Venus, who delighted in flogging Charlotte and her Irish friend and fellow convict, Kitty; of the terror of a wild storm at sea; escaping from the Maori war canoes, and the antagonism that builds up among the mutineers.

This is a story of courage, of determination and a mother’s love for her child.

June 2002, 248pp
Paperback, 216 x 138 mm
ISBN 0 9578735 2 2
RRP $aud 23.95
ISBN-13 9780957873520

The Author
Angela Badger was born in the New Forest, Hampshire, England. She emigrated to Australia in 1970 and maintains ongoing contact with UK. Her interest in Australian history is the main source of inspiration for her fiction. Charlotte, her daughter Anny, her friends Kitty, Lanky and the others were just names in the historical record until Angela Badger started researching the life of an earlier member of the Badger family.

Angela’s books
The Water People, Indra
Charlotte Badger – Buccaneer, Indra
The Boy from Buninyong

Junior fiction
The River’s Revenge
Poles Apart

Angela is currently researching her next novel, set in southern New South Wales in the late nineteenth century. This novel promises to continue her easy to read style of presenting historical events as lived adventures involving real people.


Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

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Jill Blee’s second novel, Brigid, is at once a travel story and an historical novel set in modern Ireland, where Jill’s first visit to her ancestral homeland is hijacked by the very real presence of her long-dead great aunt, Brigid.
While Jill intends to acquaint herself with the country, the people and the history from which her great-grandparents had migrated, Aunt Brigid single-mindedly steers her back to the wind swept cliffs of County Clare, and the high Burren above the village of Ballyvaghan.
Brigid has some unfinished business which quickly becomes Jill’s main quest, through which she is brought into a much deeper experience of the great famine than her history books could ever give her.
As she follows her aunt’s story on the west coast and back to Dublin, Jill’s own travel story, complete with Lonely Planet Guide, Irish pubs and Norman ruins, is told with an intense imagery which presents Ireland in her beauty and her romance as clearly as could any cinematographer.

Jill Blee is first and foremost an historian, but one who uses fiction to illuminate the past. What Brigid does best is to cast light on what the experience of the famine in a small community, Ballyvaghan, meant in emotional terms for those experiencing it.

This is a compassionate novel, well-researched, a compelling read if one has an interest in what is quite recent history, a history which threatens to repeat itself in the modern world. Frances Devlin Glass

Nov 1999,
262ppPaperback, 216 x 138 mm
ISBN 0 9585805 4 5
RRP $aud 21.95
ISBN-13 978

The Author, Jill Blee, has a BA and an MA in history from Macquarie University, an MA in writing from the University of Western Sydney, and a PhD in History from the University of Ballarat. Her interests are principally in Irish and Irish-Australian history and literature and both have featured in her own writing. Over many years her attention has been focussed on Ballarat and the Irish migrants who settled there during and after the goldrushes of the 1850s.

Jill’s three novels published by Indra all have an Irish flavour – The Pines Hold Their Secrets, Brigid and The Liberator’s Birthday. The first concerns an Irish convict wrongly banished to Norfolk Island; the second is set in Ireland during the Irish Potato Famine, and the third focuses on a day in the life of an Irish family on the Ballarat goldfields. Jill’s From the Murray to the Sea, Indra, 2004, is a comprehensive history of the Catholic education system in the Diocese of Ballarat, Australia

Blue Moon

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

The third book of Carolyn van Langenberg’s Fish Lips trilogy completes the saga of a troubled farming family based in North Eastern New South Wales and their connections over two generations with families in the Malaysian island of Penang. Blue Moon, though the third title in the trilogy, is not a sequel to the prior novels.

Jacqueline Dark is a social worker specialising in emergency housing for the poor in Sydney during the 1990s. Jacq and her brother Kel hit a bad mid-life patch when memories of their rural childhood with their crazy mother Lydia destabilise them. Jacq takes stress leave to Penang in Malaysia. While there, she tries to solve the mystery of her mother’s belief that there is a family connection with Penang.

Lydia’s life is paralleled by Ng Chu Yee in Penang, Malaysia, who is also frustrated, in her case by her husband’s gambling.

Crisply written and tightly structured, Blue Moon is one of those novels that is hard to put down.

December 2004, 336 pp
Paperback, 216 x 138 mm
ISBN 1 92078710 0
Literary fiction; First Edition
RRP $aud 27-95
ISBN-13 978

The Author
Carolyn van Langenberg grew up in the rural hinterland of the Far North Coast of New South Wales. She has travelled in Southeast Asia and Europe.

Carolyn’s books reflect her background in Australian and English literature, Asian history and creative writing. She lives with her husband in the Blue Mountains.

The fish lips trilogy, set in Malaysia and Australia from the 1940s to the 21st century, looks at three angles on love: heterosexual, homosexual and tortured.

In fish lips, Rose, Li-tsieng’s paramour, becomes a ghost when the Japanese bombed Penang in 1941. Was she ever real?

Fiona Hindmarsh in The Teetotaller’s Wake longs to be back with her new girlfriend during the family ceremonies that follow her mother’s death.

In Blue Moon, urban conservationist Badul Mukhapadai tries to save Penang, Malaysia, from developers and falls in love with the clean air of Byron Bay, Australia, where he consummates his passion for the prickly historian, Gillian Hindmarsh.

The Fish Lips Trilogy… by Carolyn van Langenberg

Fish Lips, 2001
ISBN: 0 95858059 6

The Teetotaller’s Wake, 2003
ISBN: 0 95787358 1

Blue Moon, 2004
ISBN: 1 92078710 0

Black Ice: A Story of Modern China

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

Black Ice is a novel set in China, a personal account of the turbulent years of Mao’s continuous revolution, including the social and political upheaval of the Cultural Revolution.

This is a Chinese story which brings to life the suffering, the adventure, the crushing losses, the unvanquished idealism of the otherwise anonymous heroes and heroines of China’s post-war period.

Black Ice tells the story of Mo Bing, from her under-cover work in Shanghai as a Communist Party cadre during the Civil War, through her denunciation and fall from grace during the Cultural Revolution to her rehabilitation and retirement in the early 1990s.

Significant parts of the story include the experience of Mo Bing’s husband as a soldier and prisoner of war during the Korean War. The Cultural Revolution, and the Red Guard movement feature strongly through Mo Bing and her son.

Life can never be exactly the same for Mo Bing and millions of her compatriots when Marshal Lin Biao, Mao’s ‘closest comrade-in-arms’ flees after being accused of attempting to assassinate Mao.

Shaken by the Cultural Revolution, as were many of her generation, Mo Bing develops as a survivor, her survival based on faith in herself, her undying idealism and her personal integrity.

With Black Ice, Trevor Hay and Fang Xiangshu continue their collaboration, building onto their earlier introduction of a distinctly Chinese aesthetic style into Australian literature.

June 1997. 182pp
Paperback, 215 x 138 mm
ISBN 0 9587718 6 3
RRP $aud 20.95

The AuthorsTrevor Hay is a senior lecturer in Literature and Cross-Cultural Studies at the University of Melbourne. He is a speaker of Mandarin Chinese and has lived and worked in China. He has continued to make regular return visits over more than twenty years.
Published works include Tartar City Woman, (Melbourne University Press, 1990), which won the Braille and Talking Book Library’s Audio Book of the Year Award in 1991.

Fang Xiangshu is a lecturer in Chinese at Deakin University. His doctoral thesis is on the Red Guard movement.
Originally from Shanghai, Fang is now an Australian citizen. He came to Australia as a visiting academic in 1984, staying until 1986. Upon his return to China, he found himself in trouble over ‘counter-revolutionary remarks’. Fang fled China and returned to Australia in 1987, where in 1990, he was granted permanent resident status on humanitarian grounds.

Trevor Hay and Fang Xiangshu wrote East Wind, West Wind (Penguin, 1992), which was well reviewed in a wide range of publications.