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Australian Fiction
Comfort Zone

Comfort Zone

Lindsay Tanner

$29.99

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ABBEY'S CHOICE FEBRUARY 2016 ----- An astute novel about inner-city Australian racism - and about humanity emerging in the face of reality.

Jack van Duyn is in his comfort zone. A pot-bellied, unfit, round-shouldered cabbie in his mid-fifties, he lives on his own and on the edges of society. He has a few mates, who he regards contentedly as losers and nobodies like himself, and lots of opinions about all the bastards out there who get more than they deserve.

One morning, as he's waiting for a fare, he notices a handful of dark-skinned children romping in the playground, and finds himself muttering Bloody Somalis. Why can't they stay in their own shithole of a country?

Jack can't know it, but his world is about to be turned upside down. After reluctantly breaking up a fight between the children, Jack finds himself transfixed by the mother of one of them - a beautiful young Somali woman - and feeling compelled to help her. What follows is a bewildering, hair-raising descent into a world of drug-dealing, ASIO harassment, criminal thuggery, and Somali payback.

If Jack is to rise to the challenge, redemption might involve him leaving his comfort zone behind - forever.
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Napoleon's Roads

Napoleon's Roads

David Brooks

$23.95

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'What are the crimes of love, anyway, but fragments of passion broken from their moorings, evidence of a kind of shipwreck? (But what kind of ship? Where was it? What was its name?) Or crows, a flock of them, high in the air, fighting against a wind that no-one can see.'

David Brooks' mastery of the written word is both evocative and compelling in this, his fourth collection of stories and his first in almost twenty years. These pieces capture unforgettable images of streetscapes and heartscapes, grappling with concepts of time and memory, tenderness, morality, creativity and solitude.

Profound and illuminating, Napoleon's Roads is a celebration of the rich possibility of language and expression from one of the finest poets and prose stylists in contemporary Australian literature.
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Ned Kelly

Ned Kelly

Hugh Dolan

$19.99

We all think we know the story of Ned Kelly, Australia's most famous outlaw, but we've never seen him in full colour like this before...

Edward 'Ned' Kelly was born in 1855 into a poor Irish immigrant family in rural Victoria. He grew up loyal to his family, angry at the injustice he saw in Australian society and desperate to better his situation by any means. Often in trouble with the police, with the so-called Kelly Gang he was involved in horse and cattle stealing, bank robbing, kidnapping and ultimately murder. But he was the only bushranger to write a famous and compelling letter explaining his behaviour. As every Australian knows, after a legendary shoot-out Ned was captured by police and later hanged at Melbourne Gaol.

Folk hero or criminal, this is the story of Ned Kelly as you've never seen it before.
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Golden Boys

Golden Boys

Sonya Hartnett

$22.99

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Shortlisted for the 2015 Miles Franklin Literary Award, Golden Boys is an unflinching and utterly compelling novel for adults by Sonya Hartnett, one Australia's finest writers. Colt Jenson and his younger brother Bastian have moved to a new, working-class suburb. The Jensons are different. Their father, Rex, showers them with gifts - toys, bikes, all that glitters most - and makes them the envy of the neighbourhood. To Freya Kiley and the other local kids, the Jensons are a family from a magazine, and Rex a hero - successful, attentive, attractive, always there to lend a hand. But to Colt he's an impossible figure in a different way: unbearable, suffocating. Has Colt got Rex wrong, or has he seen something in his father that will destroy their fragile new lives?
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The High Places

The High Places

Fiona McFarlane

$32.99

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These wide-ranging stories resonate in the way of only the finest writing and the most pleasurable reading. There are storylines that seem straightforward on the surface but have a dozen things circling underneath, others that sit just off-centre with a particular lens trained on human behaviour. All of them zoom in on life's unknowable points, strange moments around which fortune turns; all make superb use of ambiguity and foible. A man living temporarily in a hotel becomes a sudden stranger to himself. A young girl in rural Queensland feels her world tilt when American soldiers parachute in during World War II. A lottery win sees a man receive a poignant lesson in the nature of luck. The father of a boy who narrowly escapes tragedy cannot see things in quite the same way afterwards...
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Leaving Elvis

Leaving Elvis

Michelle Michau-Crawford

$24.99

We're travelling light, without excess, into our future. Gran had been rough as she uncurled my hands from their position, gripped around the open car doorframe, and shoved me into the passenger seat.

A man returns from World War II and struggles to come to terms with what has happened in his absence. Almost seventy years later, his middle-aged granddaughter packs up her late grandmother's home and discovers more than she had bargained for. These two stories book-end thirteen closely linked stories of one family and the rippling of consequences across three generations, played out against the backdrop of a changing Australia.

A debut collection - as powerful as it is tender - from the winner of the 2013 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize.
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When There's Nowhere Else to Run

When There's Nowhere Else to Run

Murray Middleton

$19.99

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Victoria's Black Saturday bushfires takes asylum with old friends in the Dandenong Ranges. An editor-in-chief drives his sister halfway around the country to an east-coast rehabilitation clinic. A single mother flies to Perth with her autistic son for one last holiday. A father at the end of his tether tries to survive the chaos of the Sydney Royal Easter Show. A group of young friends hire a luxury beach house in the final weeks of one of their lives. A postman hits a pedestrian and drives off into the night...When There's Nowhere Else to Run is a collection of stories about people who find their lives unravelling. They are teachers, lawyers, nurses, firemen, chefs, gamblers, war veterans, hard drinkers, adulterers, widows and romantics. Seeking refuge all across the country, from the wheat belt of Western Australia, the limestone desert of South Australia, the sugarcane towns of Queensland, the hinterland of New South Wales to the coastline of Victoria, they discover that no matter how many thousands of kilometres they put between themselves and their transgressions, sometimes there's nowhere else to run...
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Claiming Noah

Claiming Noah

Amanda Ortlepp

$19.99

Catriona and James are desperate for children, and embark on an IVF program. After a gruelling round of treatments, Catriona finally falls pregnant, and they donate their remaining embryo anonymously. Diana and Liam are on a waiting list to receive an embryo. Sooner than expected, they are thrilled to discover one is available. After a difficult pregnancy, Catriona gives birth to Sebastian. But severe postnatal depression affects her badly, and quickly turns into deadly psychosis. For her protection and her baby's, she's admitted into psychiatric care. When she comes home, she again struggles to bond with her baby, but gradually life finds its own rhythm. Meanwhile, Diana has given birth to a beautiful little boy, Noah. But when he is two months old Noah is abducted... and Diana and Liam's nightmare begins.
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Useful

Useful

Debra Oswald

$22.99

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Sullivan Moss is useless. Once a charming underachiever, he's now such a loser that he can't even commit suicide properly. Waking up in hospital after falling the wrong way on a rooftop, he comes to a decision.

He shouldn't waste perfectly good organs just because they're attached to his head. After a life of regrets, Sully wants to do one useful thing: he wants to donate a kidney to a stranger. As he scrambles over the hurdles to become a donor, Sully almost accidentally forges a new life for himself. Sober and employed, he makes new friends, not least radio producer Natalie and her son Louis, and begins to patch things up with old ones, like his ex-best mate Tim. Suddenly, everyone wants a piece of him.

But altruism is not as easy as it seems. Just when he thinks he's got himself together, Sully discovers that he's most at risk of falling apart. From the creator of Offspring comes a smart, moving and wry portrait of one man's desire to give something of himself.
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Desert Writing: Stories From Country

Desert Writing: Stories From Country

Terri-ann White

$24.99

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In September 2013 just before the weather turned even more intense a group of intrepid writers made their way to three Australian desert settings to work with groups and individuals wishing to write. Both Aboriginal people with a profound connection to country and residents of more recent arrival who had made the choice to live in remote places participated in workshops. You'll read new voices and hear perspectives on living in extreme geographical and climactic regions in today's Australia. In the variety presented here we welcome you into the vitality of remote communities often isolated but full of commitment and hope for the future.
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That Devil's Madness

That Devil's Madness

Dominique Wilson

$29.95

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In 1896 Louis and his father, seduced by the allure of North Africa, travel to Algeria in search of a better life. There, Louis befriends Imez, a Berber boy, and the two become firm friends. They grow and prosper, and become like brothers.

Years later, Nicolette, an Australian photojournalist, is drawn to cover the illness and eventual death of Algerian President Boumedienne. She sees it as an opportunity to follow in her grandfather's footsteps, make her mark, and restore the bonds of the past. But the rules have changed - will the bonds that once existed be sufficient for her to survive?

That Devil's Madness tells of the often heart-rending tensions that exist between idealism and duty, between friendship and loyalty to one's country - of the struggle for freedom, dignity and respect. Dramatic, honest and shockingly relevant to today's world situation, the novel is driven by finely crafted characters, exquisite prose and razor-sharp drama and mystery.
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