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Australian Biography

Australia's Sweetheart: The amazing story of forgotten Hollywood star Mary Maguire

Australia's Sweetheart: The amazing story of forgotten Hollywood star Mary Maguire

Michael Adams

$32.99
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This is the fascinating story of Mary Maguire, a 1930s Australian ingenue who sailed for Hollywood and a fabulous life, only to have her career cut short by scandal and tragedy. Packed with celebrity, history and gossip, AUSTRALIA'S SWEETHEART is perfect for readers of SHEILA and THE RIVIERA SET.

Mary Maguire was Australia's first teenage movie star and she captivated Hollywood in the mid 1930s. Mary lived on three continents and was celebrated in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Los Angeles and London. Her life was lived in parallel with seminal incidents of the twentieth century: the Spanish Flu; the Great Depression; the Bodyline series; Australia's early radio, talkies and aviation; Hollywood's Golden Era; the British aristocracy's embrace of European fascism; London's Blitz; and post-war American culture and politics. Mary knew everyone, from Douglas Jardine, Don Bradman, Errol Flynn and Ronald Reagan, to William Randolph Hearst, Maureen O'Sullivan and Judy Garland.

AUSTRALIA'S SWEETHEART in an irresistible never-before-told story that captures the glamour of Hollywood and the turbulent times of the twentieth century, with a young woman at its centre.

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Beyond Words: A Year with Kenneth Cook

Beyond Words: A Year with Kenneth Cook

Jacqueline Kent

$29.95
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ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- When Jacqueline Kent was a young woman, quite independent and happy in her life as a freelance editor, she met Kenneth Cook. He was nearly twenty years older, a man from a different age and mindset, formed in ways and attitudes of a differing generation to hers. He was also the author of the famous novel 'Wake in Fright' although he had written other things, dabbled in different business ventures and was generally known as a larger-than-life character. When they met again, they formed a relationship, one which challenged, sustained and fulfilled - but which ended with his sudden death less than a mere two years later.

This is not a biography of Cook, or even of Kent, but an account of a beautiful friendship and love that gave both of them something they hadn't been looking for. It is a beautifully written testament to the power of attraction of opposites, and also a window into a certain time in Australian society and literary culture, one that seems much longer ago than the mid 80s... Lindy Jones

-----

In 1985 Jacqueline Kent was content with her life. She had a satisfying career as a freelance book editor, and was emerging as a writer. Living and working alone, she relished her independence. But then she met Kenneth Cook, author of the Australian classic Wake in Fright, and they fell in love.

With bewildering speed Jacqueline found herself in alien territory- with a man almost twenty years older, whose life experience could not have been more different from her own. She had to come to terms with complicated finances and expectations, and to negotiate relationships with Ken's children, four people almost her own age. But with this man of contradictions - funny and sad, headstrong and tender - she found real and sustaining companionship.

Their life together was often joyful, sometimes enraging, always exciting - until one devastating evening. But, as Jacqueline discovered, even when a story is over that doesn't mean it has come to an end.

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Frank Hurley: A Photographer's Life

Frank Hurley: A Photographer's Life

Alasdair McGregor

$39.99
Photographer, filmmaker, writer, adventurer. Controversial, passionate, audacious. Frank Hurley was an extraordinary Australian, possibly most famous for his Antarctic photographs captured alongside expeditioners Sir Douglas Mawson and Sir Ernest Shackleton. From the early twentieth century until his death in 1962 Hurley created a stunning visual archive that chronicled the major events of the twentieth century, and Australia's achievements both home and overseas. This book and the Hurley Collection in the National Library of Australia make clear this outstanding contribution and the lengths to which the man would go in order to convey the gravity of events.

For Hurley, image-making and exploration went hand-in-hand and he sought out experiences as a pioneer documentary film-maker, official photographer in two world wars, early aviator, and adventure and story-seeker in both the natural environment and in rapidly disappearing non-western worlds. In his compulsion to bring the reality of the world to audiences, he clashed with many regarding his techniques. In particular, Sir Charles Bean, Australia's official war historian, objected to the use of composite pictures. The image Dawn of Passchendaele features an added cloudburst which adds a melancholic religiosity and passion of a Flemish masterpiece .

In his later years, Hurley travelled throughout the country on a mission to capture Australia for Australians: taking images of landscape, modern cities, industry and agriculture. Among other works, he made a film of the building of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and he also became involved with ABC radio as a frequent contributor to the children's programme The Argonauts.

Hurley was an enigmatic character, dedicated to the `perfect' picture, sometimes forsaking family and work commitments to take up another offer for overseas documentary and photographic opportunities. He saw little of the development of his four children as he travelled the world capturing the exotic for others.

In this readable, definitive and wonderfully illustrated re-issued biography, Alasdair McGregor describes Hurley's life and character in all its richness. Hurley kept diaries throughout his life and McGregor uses these insights to give a picture of a truly complex and driven man.

After Frank Hurley's death, his personal collection of negatives, lantern slides, transparencies, prints, diaries scrapbooks and papers was acquired by the National Library of Australia and has been used widely in the evocative images of this book.

Hurley believed in his work and was pleased with his vocation, summing up his life in the following way:

I have lived a life that suited me best I took risks and never regretted them If I could start again, I would so everything in the same way
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Barney Greatrex: From Bomber Command to the French Resistance - the stirring story of an Australian hero

Barney Greatrex: From Bomber Command to the French Resistance - the stirring story of an Australian hero

Michael Veitch

$22.99
The incredible untold World War II story of Australian hero BARNEY GREATREX - from Bomber Command to French Resistance fighter.

A school and university cadet in Sydney, Barney Greatrex signed up for RAF Bomber Command in 1941, eager to get straight into the very centre of the Allied counterattack. Bombing Germany night after night, Barney's 61 Squadron faced continual enemy fighter attacks and anti-aircraft fire - death or capture by the Nazis loomed large. Very few survived more than 20 missions, and it was on his 20th mission, in 1944, that Barney's luck finally ran out: he was shot down over occupied France.

But his war was far from over. Rescued by the French Resistance, Barney seized the opportunity to carry on fighting and joined the Maquis in the liberation of France from the occupying German forces, who rarely took prisoners.

Later, Barney was awarded the French Legion of Honour, but for seventy years he said almost nothing of his incredible war service - surviving two of the most dangerous battlefronts. Aged 97, Barney Greatrex revealed his truly great Australian war story to acclaimed bestselling author Michael Veitch.
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When One Person Dies The Whole World Is Over

When One Person Dies The Whole World Is Over

Mandy Ord

$29.99
A poignant, bright and elegiac work of illustrated nonfiction by one of Australia's most revered comics makers.

When One Person Dies The Whole World Is Over is a quietly enthralling and intimate work about the search for meaning in the everyday, and what it might mean to belong. A record of a year of a life, When One Person Dies The Whole World Is Over is an attempt to pin down time, to capture the most beautiful and fleeting moments that we tend to rush past.

This is the story of a person and those that surround her. It's about ageing, love, and loss, and how we might try to balance work and family and art in this confusing modern world. Funny, sad, and perfectly magnetic, When One Person Dies The Whole World Is Over draws you in deep; before you know it you're caring intensely about the lives into which we are given some precious glimpses.
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Say Hello

Say Hello

Carly Findlay

$32.99
A forthright, honest and rousingly triumphant memoir from a woman who has to live with a highly visible different appearance due to a rare skin condition. Say hello to Carly.

'In fairy tales, the characters who look different are often cast as the villain or monsters. It's only when they shed their unconventional skin that they are seen as "good" or less frightening. There are very few stories where the character that looks different is the hero of the story ... I've been the hero of my story - telling it on my own terms, proud about my facial difference and disability, not wanting a cure for my rare, severe and sometimes confronting skin condition, and knowing that I am beautiful even though I don't have beauty privilege.'

This honest, outspoken and thought-provoking memoir by award-winning writer and appearance activist Carly Findlay will challenge all your assumptions and beliefs about what it is like to have a visibly different appearance. Carly lives with a rare skin condition, Ichthyosis, and what she faces every day, and what she has to live with, will have you cheering for her and her courage and irrepressible spirit. This is both a moving memoir and a proud manifesto on disability and appearance diversity issues.
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Body Image Warrior: One Woman's Fight for Change in the Modelling Industry

Body Image Warrior: One Woman's Fight for Change in the Modelling Industry

Chelsea Bonner

$32.99
'Chelsea Bonner is an absolute powerhouse' - Mia Freedman Part memoir and part positive body image manifesto, this is an insider's perspective on the industry and how the images the world gets to see are only part of the story. The modelling and advertising industries persistently tell women they're fat, ugly and abnormal if they conform to anything other than a western ideal of beauty. In 2002 Chelsea Bonner founded BELLA, a modelling agency focused on healthy body size and dedicated to changing our dangerously narrow perception of 'beautiful'.

Chelsea was born into the Australian entertainment industry, daughter of one of the country's most famous media couples, and grew up with the painful reality of her family life hidden behind a facade of gloss. She was expected to follow effortlessly in her parents' beautiful shadows, but her natural body shape led to teenage rebellion. Instead, Chelsea decided on a career as a modelling agent and, shocked at what she witnessed, became determined to change the industry from within. She has fought on through illness, broken relationships, the collapse of businesses and exclusion by powerful industry forces.
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Rapture's Roadway

Rapture's Roadway

Virginia Jealous

$29.99
After the death of her father, Lonely Planet writer Virginia Jealous travels across the world to document the life of his obsession - the scandalous 20th century poet Laurence Hope - in a unique blend of memoir and travelogue.

John Jealous was sixty, and poet Laurence Hope had already been dead for eighty years when he became incomprehensibly obsessed with her.

After his death, his daughter Virginia finds herself drawn into the extraordinary life and work of Laurence Hope - aka Violet Nicolson - who killed herself in Madras in 1904. Laurence Hope's poetry, with its sexually adventurous themes, thrilled and scandalised the Empire in India and beyond. In the first years of the twentieth century she was the most famous poet in the world; by World War II she was forgotten.

Following in the footsteps of her father, Virginia travels across Australia, India, England, Spain and China, tracking Laurence Hope's life, and finding answers to, and further mysteries in, her father's unfinished business.

A unique blend of poetry, memoir and travelogue, Rapture's Roadway untangles truth and lies and, where that's not possible, celebrates the enigma of not knowing.
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