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ABC journalist and science writer IAN TOWNSEND cut his teeth as a novelist in 2007 with Affection, which told the story of a plague outbreak in 1900. His next novel, The Devil’s Eye, was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award in 2009. Now with Line of Fire, he turns his pen to narrative non-fiction to tell the story of Richard Manson, an 11-year-old boy who was accused of espionage and shot by the Japanese during World War II in New Guinea.
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • Most of us think of Australia as a sunny land filled with straightforward, open and candid people. But in ANNA ROMER’s version of the country, it’s a place filled with secrets and people who will do anything to keep them concealed. She talks with ALEX HENDERSON about her new book, Beyond the Orchard, Victoria’s haunted Otway Coast and the power of fear. Read on >
  • PEPPER HARDING is the pen name of a writer from San Francisco. The Heart of Henry Quantum, Pepper’s new novel, follows a scatterbrained husband’s erratic journey through the streets of San Francisco as he hunts down his wife’s Christmas present – a bottle of Chanel No. 5. Along the way he runs into his former lover, Daisy. We asked the author about his new novel and the eccentric thought journeys that appears throughout its pages. Read on >
  • Church attendance has been plummeting for decades, yet enrolments for church-based schools are soaring. Nearly all non-churchgoers say that they like having a church in their suburb – although they never go inside it. Leading social researcher HUGH MACKAY takes a look at our contradictory attitudes to religion in his new book, Beyond Belief. In this article, Hugh recounts a part of his own spiritual journey and how he came to write the book. Read on >
  • Creativity is often thought of as a special gift bestowed on only a handful of lucky people. But as Australian novelist SUE WOOLFE points out, it’s a skill that you can cultivate. Here are five tips she used to create her latest collection of stories, Do You Love Me or What? Read on >
  • Writer MIKE LUCAS and illustrator JENNIFER HARRISON tell gr about Olivia’s Voice, a new picture book about a deaf girl. Read on >
  • From an investigation into the scandals of the Catholic Church by Tom Keneally to Jeffrey Archer’s thrilling last instalment in the ‘Clifton Chronicles’ series or a tale of a shrewd female locksmith in the time of Queen Elizabeth I, these books will delight you over the long, languid days of summer. Read on >
  • In her latest novel, Melbourne author JANE RAWSON adds an air of otherworldliness to the story of her ancestor who survived a 19th-century shipwreck. She talks to MAUREEN EPPEN about history, aliens and the benefits of having been a ‘hack writer’ for 25 years.  Read on >
  • ALL IS GIVEN: A MEMOIR IN SONGS by LINDA NEIL She’s a Brisbane-based songwriter and an awardwinning producer of radio documentaries, and in this memoir LINDA NEIL travels the world, playing music and meeting people along the way. In this extract she recalls as a teenager being given the seemingly tedious duty of reading books to a blind neighbour. But what happened next surprised both the reader and the listener. Read on >
  • Following on from her two-million-selling historical novel Orphan Train, CHRISTINA BAKER KLINE has delved into the backstory of a famous painting by Andrew Wyeth to write her new novel, A Piece of the World. ANGUS DALTON talks with the author.  Read on >
  • RITU MENON loves to travel and she loves to sample the local fare of the places her journeys take her to.Her new book, Loitering with Intent: Diary of a happy traveller, is derived from over a decade of travel journal writing. Here she recounts how she came to write the book and recalls a couple of fabulous Italian feasts. Read on >
  • This first foray into crime fiction by Australian author Melina Marchetta, best known for her award-winning fiction for young adults, is a cracking read.   Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • The author's portrayal of the dynamics of a large, bewildered family shows that she has observed other people closely.   Read on >

  • The Scandalous Life of Sasha Torte is pure escapism. Read on >

  • This is a novel about being lost, being found, and about the extinction of species, of feelings, and family. Read on >

  • This is one of the best books I’ve read in the past year. Read on >

  • While the lives of these characters become increasingly entwined, and a consumptive whore, an opium den and titled lechers represent the seedy underbelly of Parisian life, it’s the progress of the controversial tower that really captures the imagination. Read on >

  • A good read, if a trifle melodramatic at times. Read on >

  • Instead of writing a sequel, Roemmers has written a response to the French masterpiece. The Return of the Young Prince has captured the essence of The Little Prince and brings to it a more mature and explicitly philosophical discussion. Read on >

  • These are contemporary, realistic stories of disillusionment in a country that naively still thinks of itself as the place of the fair go. Read on >

  • This sparse evocation of the man’s ensuing attempt at survival is utterly compelling. Read on >

  • At times it seems as if the author cannot imagine more interesting problems for his characters to deal with in the future than those presented by their sex drives. Read on >

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Books for Boys