Kate Liston-Mills sets her slim volume of short stories in her hometown of Pambula, on the south coast of NSW. The metaphor in the opening story, Bound, about a fox raid on waterfowl nests, is threaded through the volume: there is a "twine" that ties the waterfowl (and humans) to each other and Pambula.
One ordinary morning, an image invades 67-year-old Abel Marvin's thoughts as he swims his laps: the "twisted, burned-out hulk of a wheelchair with two welded, gaping red and black skeletons". It's a scene that's haunted him for most of his adult life, and he buries his face in the water to drown it.
The cover of Nicholas Jose’s Bapo, a 19th-century hand-fan, decorated with Chinese characters and a collage of contrasting patterns, catches the eye and invites the reader to open the book, to learn about its author and title, and to delve into the writing.
Patrick White won the inaugural Miles Franklin Literary Award in 1957 for Voss. A year later Randolph Stow won the award for To the Islands. He was 22-years-old and had already published two novels, A Haunted Land (1956) and The Bystander (1957) and a collection of award-winning poems.
As his earlier work on an Aboriginal mission informed the award-winning To the Islands, PNG left an indelible mark on Randolph Stow and was the basis for Visitants. However, the novel was not published until 20 years after his return to Australia.
Joan O’Hagan was born in Australia, studied Latin, Greek and ancient history at university in New Zealand, and lived and worked overseas for the best part of her life – including 30 years in Rome, where she worked at the Australian Department of Immigration.