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Scribe Catalogue, July–December 2021

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The Newcomer

Laura Elizabeth Woollett

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The Golden Book

Kate Ryan

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In Moonland

Miles Allinson

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God Save the Queen

Dennis Altman

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Old Vintage Melbourne

Chris Macheras

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Campese

James Curran

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WINTER IN SOKCHO

Elisa Shua Dusapin (trans. Aneesa Abbas Higgins)

Winner of the Prix Robert Walser — a beautiful, unexpected novel from a debut French-Korean author.

It’s winter in Sokcho, a tourist town on the border between South and North Korea. The cold slows everything down. Bodies are red and raw, the fish turn venomous, beyond the beach guns point out from the North’s watchtowers. A young French-Korean woman works as a receptionist in a tired guesthouse. One evening, an unexpected guest arrives: a French cartoonist determined to find inspiration in this desolate landscape. The two form an uneasy relationship. When she agrees to accompany him on trips to discover an ‘authentic’ Korea, they visit snowy mountaintops and dramatic waterfalls, and cross into North Korea. But he takes no interest in the Sokcho she knows — the gaudy neon lights, the scars of war, the fish market where her mother works. As she’s pulled into his vision and taken in by his drawings, she strikes upon a way to finally be seen.

An exquisitely crafted debut, Winter in Sokcho is a novel about shared identities and divided selves, vision and blindness, intimacy and alienation. Elisa Shua Dusapin’s voice is distinctive and unmistakable.

‘Enigmatic, beguiling … This finely crafted debut explores topics of identity and heredity in compelling fashion. In its aimless, outsider protagonist there are echoes of Sayaka Murata’s Convenience Store Woman.’

Sarah Gilmartin, Irish Times

Elisa Shua Dusapin

Elisa Shua Dusapin was born in France in 1992 and raised in Paris, Seoul, and Switzerland. Winter in Sokcho is her first novel. Published in 2016 to wide acclaim, it was awarded the Prix Robert Walser and the Prix Régine Desforges and has been translated into six languages.

LET’S TALK ABOUT HARD THINGS

death, sex, money, and other difficult conversations Anna Sale

Death. Sex. Money. Tricky subjects we’re taught to avoid in polite conversation. But if they’re so unpleasant, why do so many people tune in regularly to hear Anna Sale asking perfect strangers about them? What if, rather than declaring them off-limits, we could all benefit from discussing them more?

In Let’s Talk About Hard Things, Sale — the host of cult podcast Death, Sex & Money, which tackles life’s hard questions — takes her quest for more honest communication into her own life. She considers her history of facing (and sometimes avoiding) difficult subjects, both personal and cultural; she reflects on race, wealth, inequality, love, grief, death, power — all the things that shape our daily lives, the things we should be talking about, but often struggle to. She tracks down people whose stories best illuminate the transformative power of tough conversations, and offers, with her trademark empathy and insight, different ways of approaching these tricky topics with family, friends, loved ones, and strangers alike.

Part treatise, part how-to, and part memoir, Let’s Talk About Hard Things is candid, unflinching, and entertaining in its quest to make everyone more comfortable with the uncomfortable realities of life.

‘The number one driver of human happiness, across time and culture, is meaningful connection to others. The road to connection is conversations. Anna Sale is giving us the encouragement, the example, and the tools to do the one thing that can bring us closer: talk about hard things.’

Kelly Corrigan, host of Kelly Corrigan Wonders and bestselling author of Tell Me More

Anna Sale

Anna Sale is the host and managing editor of Death, Sex & Money, WNYC’s interview show about the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation. Recently named New York Magazine’s number one podcast, the show has also been featured by The New York Times, The Atlantic, Buzzfeed, The Guardian, Fast Company, and Real Simple. Before developing Death, Sex & Money, Anna covered politics for years, including the 2013 New York City mayoral race, the 2012 presidential campaign, and the statehouse beat in Connecticut and West Virginia. She has contributed to Fresh Air with Terry Gross, This American Life, NPR News, Marketplace, Studio 360, PBS Newshour, and Slate.A West Virginia native, Anna graduated from Stanford University with a degree in history.

THE NEWCOMER

Laura Elizabeth Woollett

There's no such thing as a perfect victim.

In a hotel room on a sleepy Pacific island, Judy Novak waits. And worries. It isn’t the first time 29-year-old problem child Paulina has kept her mother waiting. But Judy can’t ignore the island’s jagged cliffs and towering pines — or the dread that Paulina has finally acted on her threats to take her own life.

When Paulina’s body is discovered, Judy’s worst fears seem confirmed. Only, Paulina didn’t kill herself. She was murdered.

So begins a thorny investigation, wherein every man on the island is a suspect yet none are as maligned as Paulina: the captivating newcomer known for her hard drinking, disastrous relationships, and habit of walking alone.

But, above all, Paulina is her mother’s daughter. And death won’t stop Judy Novak from fighting for Paulina’s life.

‘Woollett convincingly and devastatingly evokes the everyday misogyny of the world her characters inhabit. This is a world in which even apparently friendly exchanges are laced with an acrid antipathy towards women and girls, one in which women are blamed for the male violence that they’re subject to … Politics and fiction haven’t always been an easy combination, but they are here … Throughout the novel, Woollett provides a sensitive and refreshingly unjudgmental insight into the lives of her two female protagonists … [and her] eye for dialogue and character development is impeccable.’

Jay Daniel Thompson, Australian Book Review

Laura Elizabeth Woollett

Laura Elizabeth Woollett is the author of a short story collection, The Love of a Bad Man (Scribe, 2016), and two novels, Beautiful Revolutionary (Scribe, 2018) and The Newcomer (forthcoming Scribe, 2021). The Love of a Bad Man was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction and the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction. Beautiful Revolutionary was shortlisted for the 2019 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Fiction, the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal, and the Kathleen Mitchell Award. Laura is the City of Melbourne’s 2020 Boyd Garret writer-in-residence and is a 2020-22 Marten Bequest scholar for prose.

THE SNOW LINE

Tessa McWatt

Old and young. White and brown. Male and female. British. Indian. Other.

Four strangers from around the world arrive in India for a wedding. Together, they climb a mountain — but will they see the same thing from the top?

Londoner Reema, who left India before she could speak, is searching for a sign that will help her make a life-changing decision. In pensioner Jackson’s suitcase is something he must let go of, but is he strong enough?

Together with two unlikely companions, they take a road trip up a mountain deep in the Himalayas, heading for the snow line — the place where the ice begins.

But even standing in the same place, surrounded by magnificent views, they see things differently. As they ascend higher and higher, they must learn to cross the lines that divide them.

‘McWatt is a writer who tackles race and identity with great nuance, and from a very broad reach ... The Snow Line suggests that she has done a lifetime of thinking and reading about structural injustice … The Snow Line is about the displacement of people, the stories that never get told, the commonality of our humanity, and the ever presence of God. We don’t feel the full effect of its rare wisdom and gravitational pull until we are finished. The final pages had me in tears.’

Monique Roffey, The Guardian

Tessa McWatt

Tessa McWatt is the author of seven novels, two books for young people, and one nonfiction book. Her work has been nominated for the Governor General’s Award and the Toronto Book Awards, and won the OCM Bocas Prize. She is a winner of the Eccles British Library Award 2018. McWatt is Professor of Creative Writing at UEA.

SEVEN FALLEN FEATHERS

racism, death, and hard truths in a northern city Tanya Talaga

The bestselling true-crime investigation by the author of All Our Relations.

In 1966, twelve-year-old Chanie Wenjack froze to death on the railway tracks of a northern Canadian city after running away from residential school. An inquest was called, and four recommendations were made to prevent another tragedy. None of those recommendations were applied.

More than thirty years later, between 2000 and 2011, seven Indigenous high school students died in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Each of them was hundreds of miles away from family, forced to leave home and live in a foreign, unwelcoming city in order to continue their education. Five were found dead in the rivers surrounding Lake Superior, below a sacred Indigenous site. Jordan Wabasse, a gentle boy and star hockey player, disappeared into the freezing night. Kyle Morrisseau's body was pulled from a river, as was Curran Strang's. Robyn Harper died in her boarding-house hallway, and Paul Panacheese inexplicably collapsed on his kitchen floor. Reggie Bushie's death finally prompted an inquest, seven years after the discovery of Jethro Anderson, the first boy whose body was found in the water.

Using a sweeping narrative that focuses on the lives of the students, award-winning investigative journalist Tanya Talaga delves into the history of this small northern city, which has come to manifest Canada's long struggle with human rights violations against Indigenous communities. In doing so, she illuminates the plight of Indigenous people all round the world who face similar dispossession, hostility, and neglect.

‘With a narrative voice encompassing lyrical creation myth, razor-sharp reporting, and a searing critique of Canada's ongoing colonial legacy, Talaga binds these tragedies — and the ambivalent response from police and government — into a compelling tapestry. This vivid, wrenching book shatters the air of abstraction that so often permeates news of the injustices Indigenous communities face every day. It is impossible to read Seven Fallen Feathers and not care about the lives lost, the families thrust into purgatory, while the rest of society looks away.’

Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction Jury Citation

Tanya Talaga

Tanya Talaga is the acclaimed author of Seven Fallen Feathers, a multi-award winner including the RBC Taylor Prize, the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing, and the First Nation Communities READ: Young Adult/Adult Award. The book was a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Nonfiction Prize and the BC National Award for Nonfiction. Talaga was the 2018 CBC Massey Lecturer, and is the author of the US bestseller All Our Relations. For more than twenty years she has been a journalist at the Toronto Star. Talaga is of Polish and Ojibwe descent. Her grandmother is a member of Fort William First Nation. She lives in Toronto with her two teenage children.

MR SHAHA’S MARVELLOUS MACHINES

Adventures in Making Round the Kitchen Table Alom Shaha (illus. Emily Robertson)

Transform household objects into your very own home-made toys and machines!

Learn about the centre of gravity by making a balancing bird, create a toroidal vortex with a smoke-ring machine, and turn a spoon into an electromagnet. Chances are you won’t need to buy the materials required for these machines because they’re all in your house right now. Every child can be an engineer with the help of Mr Shaha and his marvellous machines.

Written by a science teacher and dad, Mr Shaha's Marvellous Machines is the highly anticipated sequel to Mr Shaha's Recipes for Wonder. This book gives clear, step-by-step instructions for over 15 projects. Whether you’re a master engineer or a total beginner, it will spark inspiration for fun activities to engage young people in the marvels of machinery.

‘With recycling-bin materials, and step-by-step instructions, this gorgeous book celebrates the sense of accomplishment found in making something for yourself.’

Imogen Russell Williams, The Guardian

Alom Shaha

Alom Shaha was born in Bangladesh but grew up in London. A parent, teacher, science writer, and filmmaker, he has spent most of his professional life trying to share his passion for science and education with the public. Alom has produced, directed, and appeared in a number of television programmes for broadcasters such as the BBC, and has received fellowships from the National Endowment for Science, Technology, and the Arts (NESTA) and the Nuffield Foundation. He has represented his community as an elected politician and volunteered at a range of charitable organisations. He teaches at a comprehensive school in London and writes for a number of print and online publications, including The Guardian.

ZERO FAIL

the rise and fall of the Secret Service Carol Leonnig

'This is one of those books that will go down as the seminal work — the determinative work — in this field … Terrifying.'
—Rachel Maddow

The first definitive account of the rise and fall of the Secret Service, from the Kennedy assassination to the alarming mismanagement of the Obama and Trump years, right up to the insurrection at the Capitol on 6 January 2021 — by the Pulitzer Prize winner and #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of A Very Stable Genius

Carol Leonnig has been reporting on the Secret Service for The Washington Post for most of the last decade, bringing to light the secrets, scandals, and shortcomings that plague the agency today — from a toxic work culture to dangerously outdated equipment to the deep resentment within the ranks at key agency leaders, who put protecting the agency’s once-hallowed image before fixing its flaws. But the Secret Service wasn’t always so troubled.

The Secret Service was born in 1865, in the wake of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, but its story begins in earnest in 1963, with the death of John F. Kennedy. Shocked into reform by its failure to protect the president on that fateful day in Dallas, this once-sleepy agency was radically transformed into an elite, highly trained unit that would redeem itself several times, most famously in 1981 by thwarting an assassination attempt against Ronald Reagan. But this reputation for courage and excellence would not last forever. By Barack Obama’s presidency, the once-proud Secret Service was running on fumes and beset by mistakes and alarming lapses in judgement: break-ins at the White House, an armed gunman firing into the windows of the residence while confused agents stood by, and a massive prostitution scandal among agents in Cartagena, to name just a few. With Donald Trump’s arrival, a series of promised reforms were cast aside, as a president disdainful of public service instead abused the Secret Service to rack up political and personal gains.

To explore these problems in the ranks, Leonnig interviewed dozens of current and former agents, government officials, and whistleblowers who put their jobs on the line to speak out about a hobbled agency that’s in desperate need of reform. 'I will be forever grateful to them for risking their careers,' she writes, ‘not because they wanted to share tantalising gossip about presidents and their families, but because they know that the Service is broken and needs fixing. By telling their story, they hope to revive the Service they love.'

‘Terrifying … There is certainly heroism here, and there are certainly plots that were foiled, and there are certainly instances of an agency in the moment being well run and foiling an attack and chasing something down and being on top of stuff. But there is an astonishing litany of stuff they have done wrong and scrapes we have narrowly avoided in this country by the skin of our teeth and through sheer luck … It just flips your stomach up and down. This is one of those books that will go down as the seminal work — the determinative work—in this field.’

Rachel Maddow

Carol Leonnig

Carol Leonnig is a national investigative reporter at The Washington Post, where she has worked since 2000. A three-time Pulitzer Prize winner and co-author of the #1 New York Times bestseller A Very Stable Genius, Leonnig is also an on-air contributor to NBC News and MSNBC. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband and two children.

THE LIQUID LAND

Raphaela Edelbauer (trans. Jen Calleja)

A town that doesn’t want to be found. A countess who rules over the memories of an entire community. A hole in the earth that threatens to drag them all into its depths.

When her parents die in a car accident, the highly talented physicist Ruth Schwarz is confronted with an almost intractable problem. Her parents’ will calls for them to be buried in their childhood home — but for strangers, Gross-Einland is a village that remains stubbornly hidden from view.

When Ruth finally finds her way there, she makes a disturbing discovery: beneath the town lies a vast cavern that seems to exert a strange control over the lives of the villagers. There are hidden clues about the hole everywhere, but nobody wants to talk about it — not even when it becomes clear that the stability of the entire town is in jeopardy. Is this silence controlled by the charming countess who rules the community? And what role does Ruth’s family history, a history she is only just beginning to uncover, have to play?

The more questions Ruth asks, the more vehement the resistance she encounters from the residents. But as she continues to dig deeper, she comes to realise that the key to deciphering the mysterious codes of the people of Gross-Einland can only lie in the history of the hole.

In the literary tradition of Thomas Bernhard and Elfriede Jelinek, Raphaela Edelbauer weaves the complexities of small-town social structures into an opaque dream fabric that is frighteningly true to life, and in the process she turns us towards the abject horror that lies beneath repressed memory. The Liquid Land is a dangerous novel, at once glittering nightmare and dark reality, from an extraordinary new literary voice.

‘A Freudian exploration of complicated grief.’

The Times

Raphaela Edelbauer

Raphaela Edelbauer was born in Vienna in 1990. She studied Language Art (Sprachkunst) with Robert Schindel at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. The Liquid Land was published by Klett-Cotta in 2019, and was shortlisted for the German Book Prize and longlisted for the Austrian Book Prize.

FOX AND I

an uncommon friendship Catherine Raven

A solitary woman’s inspiring, moving, surprising, and often funny memoir about the transformative power of her unusual friendship with a wild fox.

Catherine Raven left home at 15, fleeing an abusive father and an indifferent mother. Drawn to the natural world, she worked as a ranger in national parks, at times living in her run-down car on abandoned construction sites, or camping on a piece of land in Montana she bought from a colleague. She managed to put herself through college and then graduate school, eventually earning a PhD in biology and building a house on her remote plot. Yet she never felt at home with people. Except when teaching, she spoke to no one.

One day, she realised that a wild fox that had been appearing at her house was coming by every day precisely at 4.15. He became a regular visitor, eventually sitting near her as she read to him from The Little Prince or Dr Seuss. Her scientific training had taught her not to anthropomorphise animals, but as she grew to know him, his personality revealed itself — and he became her friend. But friends cannot always save each other from the uncontained forces of nature.

Though this is a story of survival, it is also a poignant and dramatic tale of living in the wilderness and coping with inevitable loss. This uplifting, fable-like true story about the friendship between a solitary woman and a wild fox not only reveals the power of friendship and our interconnectedness with the natural world, but is an original, imaginative, and beautiful work that introduces a stunning new voice.

Fox and I will make you feel deeply about our relationship with animals and nature. After you read this book you will experience animals in a new and marvellous way.’

Temple Grandin, author of Animals Make Us Human

Catherine Raven

Catherine Raven received her PhD in biology from Montana State University and is a former National Park ranger at Glacier, Mount Rainier, North Cascades, Voyagers, and Yellowstone National Parks. Her natural history essays have appeared in American Scientist, Journal of American Mensa, and Montana Magazine; and her textbook, Forestry: the green world, was published by Chelsea House. A member of American Mensa and Sigma Xi, she is currently an assistant program director and professor at South University in Savannah, Georgia. An earlier version of Fox and I received first place at the Montana Festival of the Book.

THE ORCHARD MURDERS

Robert Gott

A novel about revenge, obsession, and the dangerous gullibility of religious fanatics.

In 1944, in the outer-Melbourne suburb of Nunawading, a brutal triple murder heralds the return of a long-forgotten cult. A man named Anthony Prescott has declared himself the Messiah and has promised his followers immortality. There are those who believe him and who are ready to kill in his name. Inspector Titus Lambert of the Melbourne Homicide unit, whose detectives are over-stretched, requests the discreet assistance of Helen Lord and Joe Sable, once members of his unit, now private inquiry agents. The investigation is more perilous than any of them realise, and will have tragic consequences.

The Orchard Murders is the fourth novel in Robert Gott’s acclaimed series, set in Melbourne during the dark days of the Second World War.

‘Stylish, witty, and nail-bitingly relentless. Gott is at the top of his game.’

Emma Viskic

Robert Gott

Robert Gott was born in the Queensland town of Maryborough in 1957, and lives in Melbourne. He has published many books for children, and is also the creator of the newspaper cartoon The Adventures of Naked Man. He is the author of the William Power series of crime-caper novels set in 1940s Australia, comprising Good Murder, A Thing of Blood, Amongst the Dead, and The Serpent’s Sting, and of the Murders series, comprising The Holiday Murders, The Port Fairy Murders, The Autumn Murders, and The Orchard Murders.

GOD SAVE THE QUEEN

the strange persistence of monarchies Dennis Altman

An avowed republican investigates the unexpected durability and potential benefits of constitutional monarchies.

When he was deposed in Egypt in 1952, King Farouk predicted that there would be five monarchs left at the end of the century: the kings of hearts, diamonds, clubs, spades, and of England. To date, his prediction has proved wrong, and while the twentieth century saw the collapse of monarchies across Europe, many democratic societies have remained monarchies.

God Save the Queen is the first book to look at constitutional monarchies globally, and is particularly relevant given the pro-democracy movement in Thailand and recent scandals around the British and Spanish royal families. Is monarchy merely a feudal relic that should be abolished, or does the division between ceremonial and actual power act as a brake on authoritarian politicians? And what is the role of monarchy in the independent countries of the Commonwealth that have retained the Queen as head of state?

This book suggests that monarchy deserves neither the adulation of the right nor the dismissal of the left. In an era of autocratic populism, does constitutional monarchy provide some safeguards against the megalomania of political leaders? Is a President Boris potentially more dangerous than a Prime Minister Boris?

‘At 153 pages God Save the Queen is a quick read, and Altman packs a lot into it, whizzing through the histories and current political climates of an array of countries to gain better understanding of the way monarchies have sustained themselves and evolved. … It’s the ability, in such a relatively brief space of words, to capture the breadth of diversity and nuances of modern monarchy, that makes Altman’s exploration of the phenomenon truly fascinating.’

Ben Pobjie, The Australian

Dennis Altman

Dennis Altman first came to attention with his book Homosexual: oppression & liberation in 1972. His recent books include Global Sex, Gore Vidal’s America, and Unrequited Love: diary of an accidental activist. Dennis is a Professorial Fellow at La Trobe University in Melbourne. He has been Visiting Professor of Australian Studies at Harvard, and was listed by The Bulletin as one of the 100 most influential Australians ever.

THE GOLDEN BOOK

Kate Ryan

Jessie had said they should go at midnight. 'It’s the gods’ time,' she said, narrowing her eyes dramatically. 'Anything could happen.’

It’s the 1980s, and in their small coastal town, Ali and her best friend, Jessie, are on the cusp. With ‘The Golden Book’, a journal of incantation and risk taking as their record, they begin to chafe at the restrictions put on them by teachers, parents, each other. Then Jessie suffers a devastating accident, and both their lives are forever changed.

When Ali is an adult, with a young daughter herself, the news of Jessie’s death brings back the intensity of that summer, forcing her to reckon with her own role in what happened to Jessie so many years ago.

As this stunning debut moves back and forth in time, and Ali’s secrets are forced into the light, Kate Ryan asks profound questions about responsibility and blame, and, ultimately, about love.

The Golden Book is a quietly beautiful debut from Kate Ryan that asks profound questions about responsibility, blame and, ultimately, love … [This] is an exquisite and deeply resonant literary novel that captures the nostalgia of youth.’

Cheryl Akle, The Weekend Australian

Kate Ryan

Kate Ryan writes fiction and nonfiction and her work has appeared in publications including New Australian Writing,The Sleepers Almanac, Meanjin, Kill Your Darlings, the Griffith Review, and Best Australian Stories. Her picture books were published by Penguin and Lothian. She won the Writers Prize in the 2015 Melbourne Prize for Literature and the novella category in the 2017 Lord Mayor’s Creative Writing Awards. Her work has been recognised in others including the Josephine Ulrick, Calibre, Elizabeth Jolley, and Boroondara awards. The Golden Book is her first novel. As well as writing, she works as an editor, teacher, manuscript assessor, and writing mentor.

THE SPECTACULAR SUIT

Kat Patrick (illus. Hayley Wells)

A buoyant and heartwarming celebration of individuality, identity, and dressing to suit yourself!

It’s almost Frankie’s birthday and everything is ready — except for something to wear. All of her party dresses feel wrong. Her family tries to help, but it’s no good.

What Frankie longs for is a suit. A spectacular suit … 

Can Frankie find the outfit of her dreams?

‘From Kat Patrick, author of Doodle Cat and Howl, comes a gorgeous picture book about the nervous joy of expressing yourself through clothing and the strength that comes with family support. Finding the perfect look (especially one with such strong Bowie vibes) for your own party can be incredibly empowering, and The Spectacular Suit also plays with gender in the same, delightful way that children do. Artist Hayley Wells’s picture book debut is warmly illustrated in a limited colour palette, creating a cohesive story world … While this story is a great one for sharing with children from the age of three, when the desire to choose your own outfit really begins to take hold, it could be perfect for those well into primary school, when individuality and identity begin to take on more significance.’

Michael Earp, Books + Publishing

Kat Patrick

Kat Patrick recently realised they never actually grew up, and so they’ve been trying to make a living as a writer ever since. Originally from the UK, they have written their way around the world, and after stints in New Zealand, Australia, Iceland, Paris, and Patagonia, are now based in Glasgow.

I AM THE SUBWAY

Kim Hyo-eun (trans. Deborah Smith)

A cinematic journey through the Seoul subway that masterfully portrays the many unique lives we travel alongside whenever we take the train. A poetic translation of the bestselling Korean picture book.

Accompanied by the constant, rumbling ba-dum ba-dum of its passage through the city, the subway has stories to tell. Between sunrise and sunset, it welcomes and farewells people, and holds them — along with their joys, hopes, fears, and memories — in its embrace.

Originally published in Korean and brought to English-speaking audiences with the help of renowned translator Deborah Smith (The Vegetarian), I Am the Subway vividly reflects the shared humanity that can be found in crowded metropolitan cities.

? ‘[S]ensitive, closely observed portraits.’ —Publishers Weekly

? ‘A contemplative, poignant rendering of everyday journeys.’ —Kirkus Reviews

? ‘[B]eautiful and unusual.’ —Youth Services Book Review

? ‘Bewitching.’ —Foreword Reviews

? ‘A poetic tribute to Seoul and its people, I Am the Subway makes for an unforgettable journey.’ —BookPage

‘In this beautiful and unusual book, first-person narration by a subway tells us all about the regulars who ride its cars in busy Seoul each day. The free-verse passages by the empathetic transportation system have a rhythmic style that recalls the rocking of the cars. Meanwhile, its regular riders each get a short passage to tell their own stories…This book perfectly encapsulates the wonder of crowds; how what looks like a seething mass (on what we learn is one of the world’s largest underground systems), is made up of individuals with unique and touching stories.’

Susan Harari, Youth Services Book Review starred review

Kim Hyo-eun

Kim Hyo-eun studied textile design at college and illustration at the Ibpil Future Illustration Research Institute. Books written and illustrated by Kim Hyo-eun include I Am the Subway. Picture books with illustrations created by Kim include A Baby on a Train, A Starry Flower Wall, The Place We Walk Becomes the Road, and Minji and a Squirrel.

THE ART OF MORE

how mathematics created civilisation Michael Brooks

Bestselling science writer Michael Brooks takes us on a fascinating journey through the history of civilisation, as he explains why maths is fundamental to our understanding of the world.

1, 2, 3 … ? The human brain isn’t wired for maths; beyond the number 3, it just sees ‘more’. So why bother learning it at all?

You might remember studying geometry, calculus, and algebra at school, but you probably didn’t realise — or weren’t taught — that these are the roots of art, architecture, government, and almost every other aspect of our civilisation. The mathematics of triangles enabled explorers to travel far across the seas and astronomers to map the heavens. Calculus won the Allies the Second World War and halted the HIV epidemic. And the mysterious Pi is one of the essential building blocks of the 21st century.

From ancient Egyptian priests to the Apollo astronauts, and Babylonian tax collectors to the MIT professor who invented juggling robots, join Michael Brooks and his extraordinarily eccentric cast of characters in discovering how maths shaped the world.

‘At school, many of us wondered about the point of geometry, calculus and algebra. Brooks shows how the childhood question “What’s the point of this?” can be reframed: esoteric concepts such as imaginary numbers, cryptography and the semi-mystical digits of pi are revealed to be the essential building blocks of the 21st century.’

Liz Else and Simon Ings, New Scientist

Michael Brooks

Michael Brooks is a science writer with a PhD in quantum physics, and the author of several books, including the bestselling 13 Things That Don’t Make Sense and The Quantum Astrologer’s Handbook, a Daily Telegraph Book of the Year.

NATURE IS NEVER SILENT

Madlen Ziege (trans. Alexandra Roesch)

For readers of Entangled Life and The Hidden Life of Trees, a fascinating journey into the world of plants and animals, and the ways they communicate with each other.

In forests, fields, and even gardens, there is a constant exchange of information going on. Animals and plants must communicate with one another to survive, but they also tell lies, set traps, talk to themselves, and speak to each other in a variety of unexpected ways.

Here, behavioural biologist Madlen Ziege reveals the fascinating world of nonhuman communication. In charming, humorous, and accessible prose, she shows how nature’s language can help us to understand our own place in the natural world a little better.

‘It's always amazing how talkative nature is — very enlightening and entertaining!’

Peter Wohlleben, author of The Hidden Life of Trees

Madlen Ziege

Madlen Ziege studied biology in Potsdam, Berlin, and Australia. For her doctorate at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, she studied the communicational behaviour of wild rabbits in urban and rural areas. She works as a behavioural biologist at the University of Potsdam and inspires people of all ages for scientific research with her science slams.

IN MOONLAND

Miles Allinson

‘A parent’s love for a child, you probably know this yourself, it’s pretty bottomless. It goes down into the guts of the world. But a child’s love for a parent is different. It goes up. It’s more ethereal. It’s not quite present on the earth.’

In present-day Melbourne, a man attempts to piece together the mystery of his father’s apparent suicide as his young family slowly implodes. At the ashram of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, in 1976, a man searching for salvation must confront his capacity for violence and darkness. And in a not-too-distant future, a woman with a life-altering decision to make travels through a climate-ravaged landscape to visit her estranged father.

In Moonland is a portrait of three generations, each grappling with their own mortality. Spanning the wild idealism of the 70s through to the fragile hope of the future, it is a novel about the struggle for transcendence and the reverberating effects of family bonds. This long-awaited second outing from Miles Allinson, the multi-award-winning author of Fever of Animals, will affirm his reputation as one of Australia’s most interesting contemporary fiction writers, and urge us to see our own political and environmental reality in a new light.

‘[A]n ambitious and gripping story of parenthood, utopias and environmental collapse … In Moonland is an astounding book that feels so epic in scope for a novel that is only 240-odd pages long. Fans of Allinson’s first book have much to look forward to with his second, a skilful and existential examination of humanity in the Anthropocene.’

Brad Jefferies, Books + Publishing

Miles Allinson

MILES ALLINSON is a writer and an artist, and the author of the multi award-winning novel Fever of Animals. He lives in Melbourne.

ILL FEELINGS

stories of unexplained illness Alice Hattrick

A radical, defiant debut from a bold new voice in narrative nonfiction.

In 1995, Alice’s mother collapsed with pneumonia. She never fully recovered and was eventually diagnosed with ME, or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Then Alice got ill. Their symptoms mirrored their mother’s and appeared to have no physical cause; they received the same diagnosis a few years later. Ill Feelings blends memoir, medical history, biography, and literary nonfiction to uncover both of their case histories, and branches out into the records of ill health that women have written about in diaries and letters. Their cast of characters includes Virginia Woolf and Alice James, the poets Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Emily Dickinson, John Ruskin’s lost love Rose la Touche, the artist Louise Bourgeois, and the nurse Florence Nightingale.

Suffused with a generative, transcendent rage, Alice Hattrick’s genre-bending debut is a moving and defiant exploration of life with a medically unexplained illness.

Ill Feelings is a deeply personal and deeply political reckoning with the nature of illness, inheritance, time, silence, bodies and invisibility. Alice Hattrick offers both a radical redefinition of the dominant narratives surrounding health and pain, and the knowledge we need in order to name, understand and resist them. Hattrick has found a voice and form which open up new and exciting possibilities for writing the self and making sense of the collective past: I read this remarkable book with outrage, fascination, and immense admiration.’

Francesca Wade, author of Square Haunting

Alice Hattrick

Alice Hattrick is a writer based in London. Their criticism and interviews have appeared in publications such as Frieze, Artreview and The White Review. They were shortlisted for the Fitzcarraldo Essay Prize in 2016. Ill Feelings is their first book.

ALPHA

a reckoning for the Navy SEALs David Philipps

A Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter uncovers the story of the shocking rise and fall of a decorated Navy SEAL accused of war crimes, the fellow SEALs who turned him in, and the court martial that captivated the nation.

After nearly twenty years of military service, Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, who was admiringly described by those who served with him as ‘aggressive’, had risen in the elite command teams to the rank of chief petty officer.

But one bright May morning in 2017, Gallagher’s trademark aggression culminated in the death of an unnamed ISIS fighter. Several men in Alpha platoon swore they saw their platoon chief murder the captive in cold blood that morning. Others said they saw no such thing. The revelations that followed when his fellow SEALs turned him in would result in a court martial that divided his platoon, then the SEALs, the Navy, the Pentagon, the White House, and ultimately the American public.

This is a story about a commando who was inspired to serve his nation, who became addicted to combat, and whose need to prove himself among his peers pushed him to extremes — and about the handful of SEALs who decided that upholding their moral code was more important than perpetuating an insider’s code of silence. But it is also a starkly modern story — one that reveals how pop culture and social media shaped who the sailor was and how he acted, and how the persona he created ultimately found an ally in America’s first reality-television president, Donald Trump.

‘I’ve been haunted these last few days by Alpha… It’s engrossing, full of horror and deeply damning.’

Sam Sifton, The New York Times

David Philipps

David Philipps is a Pulitzer Prize-winning national correspondent for The New York Times, where he writes about the military and veterans. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer twice, and has won a number of other national-level awards, including the Livingston Award and Ford Prize for military reporting.

LET’S EAT WEEDS!

a kids' guide to foraging Annie Raser-Rowland, Adam Grubb (illus. Evie Barrow)

From salads to main dishes, edible weeds are delicious! Find out how to identify them, where and when to find them, and how to cook them.

Ever thought weeds were just pesky plants to pull out and throw away? Think again! This informative, funny, and beautiful book will show you just how great edible weeds can taste. Learn to smell your way to an angled onion, bake weeds ‘n’ cheese pie, and safely harvest the juicy fruits of a prickly pear.

This is the ultimate companion for the young urban or rural forager. Once you’ve read it, you’ll start to see food all around you, every time you go for a walk.

Annie Raser-Rowland and Adam Grubb’s love of weeds bursts from every page. It is their sincere hope that this book ends up smeared with mud and stained with blackberry juice. Let’s get foraging!

‘The pair’s personable style makes you feel like you’re out on a wander with them, and the recipes and descriptions of flavours will make you want to jump up and go straight into your kitchen, via your own weedy garden. […] The delicate, rich renderings of the plants manage to merge a pencil-soft feel with a vintage scientific style, coming together in a book that is as beautiful as it is motivating.’

Anica Boulanger-Mashberg, Books + Publishing

Annie Raser-Rowland

Annie Raser-Rowland is a horticulturalist and writer. She works at CERES nursery in Melbourne, giving people advice on how to grow lots of tomatoes.

Adam Grubb

Adam Grubb runs an urban permaculture design and education business, and also co-founded EnergyBulletin.net (now Resilience.org) and the Permablitz movement.

RHYME HUNGRY

Antonia Pesenti

From INSTANT POODLES to CHEESE GHOSTIE, RHYME HUNGRY is the ultimate book of lunchtime wordplay!

Flip the flaps to reveal unexpected rhymes and bold, bright illustrations. A book that will delight adults, appeal to design lovers, and get young kids squealing and begging to read it again and again.

From the creator of award-winning Rhyme Cordial.

Praise for Rhyme Cordial:‘There’s something quite architectural about this wonderful book of word play with its simple lines and solid blocks of colour … Bright simple colours, black and white stripes and white stars on black backgrounds repeat throughout the book in cohesive visual echoes as pleasing as the word play.’

Adelaide Advertiser

Antonia Pesenti

Antonia Pesenti is a Sydney based architect and illustrator/book creator. She was awarded the Sydney University Medal and moved to Paris after finishing her degree in architecture. While working as an architect, Antonia spent her time documenting Paris through drawing, developing a passion for illustration and picture books. Today she combines directing the multidisciplinary design practice Studio Fable with illustrating/designing and making beautiful books - exploring all formats from experimental zines through to picture books.

EVERY DEEP-DRAWN BREATH

an intensive-care doctor’s notes on healing Wes Ely

A world-renowned critical-care doctor offers hope for patients, their families, and the future of medicine in this timely, urgent, and compassionate work about the devastating and little-known physical and emotional effects of ICU stays.

As COVID-19 survivors are discharged from hospitals, grateful to be alive, most don’t realise that the hardest part of their battle may be about to begin. Many will return home and struggle with long-term physical, mental, and emotional problems either caused or exacerbated by the life-saving treatment they received in intensive care. They’ll join the ranks of critical-care survivors whose lives are completely upturned by a hospital stay. More than half of the patients admitted to ICUs will struggle with post–intensive care syndrome, which can include Alzheimer’s-like cognitive deficits, PTSD, muscle and nerve damage, and depression. Their personal and professional lives can suffer irreparably. Worst of all, no one seems to understand that they have an illness at all. Not even their doctors.

Dr Ely is now a leader in the field of ICU survivorship — advocating for compassionate care in the technology-driven enclave of the modern ICU — especially relevant during the coronavirus pandemic. In Every Deep-Drawn Breath, Dr Ely sounds a warning for the millions of people who will be admitted to ICUs in coming years and a wake-up call for healthcare professionals — himself included — to turn their gaze from the latest life-saving machines to really see, as he says, ‘the person in the patient’.

‘An intensely emotive journey through the science and history of the intensive care unit … Every Deep-Drawn Breath is a paragon of humanity that will have lasting positive effects.’

The Lancet

Wes Ely

E. Wesley Ely, MD, MPH, is a pulmonary and critical care physician who earned his MD at Tulane University School of Medicine, in conjunction with a master’s in public health. He serves as the Grant W. Liddle Endowed Chair in medicine and is a physician-scientist and tenured professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He is also the associate director of ageing research for the Tennessee Valley Veterans Affairs Geriatric Research Education Clinical Center (GRECC). Dr Ely has published studies in the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, and The Lancet, and his writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, USA Today, and other publications. He lives in Nashville and is the founder and codirector of the Critical Illness, Brain Dysfunction, and Survivorship (CIBS) Center, an organisation devoted to research and recovery for people affected by critical illness. Dr Ely is donating all his net proceeds from this book to a fund at the CIBS Center established to help ICU survivors and their families. Visit www.icudelirium.org.

THE WOMAN THEY COULD NOT SILENCE

Elizabeth Packard’s incredible fight for freedom, and the men who tried to make her disappear Kate Moore

From the internationally bestselling author of The Radium Girls comes a dark but ultimately uplifting tale of a woman whose incredible journey still resonates today.

Elizabeth Packard was an ordinary Victorian housewife and mother of six. That was, until the first Woman’s Rights Convention was held in 1848, inspiring Elizabeth and many other women to dream of greater freedoms. She began voicing her opinions on politics and religion — opinions that her husband did not share. Incensed and deeply threatened by her growing independence, he had her declared 'slightly insane' and committed to an asylum.

Inside the Illinois State Hospital, Elizabeth found many other perfectly lucid women who, like her, had been betrayed by their husbands and incarcerated for daring to have a voice. But just because you are sane, doesn’t mean that you can escape a madhouse …

Fighting the stigma of her gender and her supposed madness, Elizabeth embarked on a ceaseless quest for justice. It not only challenged the medical science of the day and saved untold others from suffering her fate, it ultimately led to a giant leap forward in human rights the world over.

'A fascinating story ... the writing is exquisite.’

BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour

Kate Moore

A multiple Sunday Times bestselling author, Kate Moore has written more than fifteen books across various genres, including history, biography, and gift. Her last book was the award-winning international bestseller The Radium Girls, which was selected for Emma Watson’s Our Shared Shelf book club. She is based in London.

COP

a journalist infiltrates the police Valentin Gendrot (trans. Frank Wynne)

The story of a French journalist who infiltrated the country's police force, revealing a culture of racism and violence in which officers act with impunity.

What happens behind the walls of a police station? In order to answer this question, undercover journalist Valentin Gendrot puts his life on hold for two years. He decides to undertake training and become a police officer. Several months later, Gendrot is working in a police station in one of the tough northern arrondissements of Paris, where relations between the law and locals are strained.

Gendrot hides nothing. He witnesses police brutality, racism, blunders, and cover-ups. But he also sees the oppressive working conditions that officers endure, and mourns the tragic suicide of a colleague.

Asking important questions about who holds institutional power and how we can hold them to account, Cop is a gripping exposé of a world never before seen by outsiders.

‘An explosive new book by an investigative journalist has drawn fresh attention to police brutality and racism in France … Chronicles the author’s training and the six months he spent as a police officer in one of Paris’ poorest districts … its vivid portrayal underlines how France’s history of racism and present-day police tactics have remained relatively unexamined.’

Matt Bradley, NBC News

Valentin Gendrot

Born in 1988, Valentin Gendrot worked on local newspapers and radio after graduating from journalism college, and carried out several undercover investigations — including working on a Toyota production line and in a Lidl supermarket — before joining the Paris police force.

A YEAR IN FLEURVILLE

recipes from balconies, rooftops, and gardens Felicita Sala (illus. Felicita Sala)

From Felicita Sala comes this exquisite sequel to the bestselling Lunch at 10 Pomegranate Street.

In each garden, someone is tending to their produce. Maria is picking asparagus, Ramon’s mum is watering the cucumbers, and a gaggle of kids are eating cherries fresh from the tree and even wearing some as earrings!

Meet the many people of Fleurville, delight in their harvests, learn their recipes, and find comfort in the cycle of the seasons.

A Year in Fleurville is a cookbook, a mini guide to gardening, and a picture book rolled into one. This glorious celebration of community is filled with recipes from all over the world and with simple instructions perfect for young chefs.

Felicita Sala

Felicita Sala is a self-taught illustrator and painter. She graduated in philosophy from the University of Western Australia. She has illustrated many picture books, contributed her art to magazines and newspapers, and has also worked on papercut stop-motion animations. One of her books was included in The New York Times’ Best Illustrated Picture Books of 2018, and in 2020 she won the Premio Andersen award in Italy for best illustrator. Felicita lives in Rome with her husband, Gianluca, and their daughter, Nina.

FULFILLMENT

winning and losing in one-click America Alec MacGillis

An award-winning journalist investigates Amazon’s impact on the wealth and poverty of towns and cities across the United States.

In 1937, the famed writer and activist Upton Sinclair published a novel bearing the subtitle A Story of Ford-America. He blasted the callousness of a company worth ‘a billion dollars’ that underpaid its workers while forcing them to engage in repetitive and sometimes dangerous assembly-line labour. Eighty-three years later, the market capitalisation of Amazon.com has exceeded one trillion dollars, while the value of the Ford Motor Company hovers around thirty billion. We have, it seems, entered the age of one-click America ? and as the coronavirus makes Americans more dependent on online shopping, its sway will only intensify.

Alec MacGillis’s Fulfillment is not another inside account or exposé of our most conspicuously dominant company. Rather, it is a literary investigation of the America that falls within that company’s growing shadow. As MacGillis shows, Amazon’s sprawling network of delivery hubs, data centres, and corporate campuses epitomises a land where winner and loser cities and regions are drifting steadily apart, the civic fabric is unravelling, and work has become increasingly rudimentary and isolated.

Ranging across the country, MacGillis tells the stories of those who’ve thrived and struggled to thrive in this rapidly changing environment. In Seattle, high-paid workers in new office towers displace a historic black neighbourhood. In suburban Virginia, homeowners try to protect their neighbourhood from the environmental impact of a new data centre. Meanwhile, in El Paso, small office-supply firms seek to weather Amazon’s takeover of government procurement, and in Baltimore a warehouse supplants a fabled steel plant. Fulfillment also shows how Amazon has become a force in Washington, DC, ushering readers through a revolving door for lobbyists and government contractors and into CEO Jeff Bezos’s lavish Kalorama mansion.

With empathy and breadth, MacGillis demonstrates the hidden human costs of the other inequality ? not the growing gap between rich and poor, but the gap between the country’s winning and losing regions. The result is an intimate account of contemporary capitalism: its drive to innovate, its dark, pitiless magic, and its remaking of America with every click.

‘It’s a meticulous, devastating indictment of Amazon’s effect on individuals and communities. It prompted me to stop shopping at Whole Foods, which was bought by Amazon in 2017.’

Curtis Sittenfield, The Guardian

Alec MacGillis

Alec MacGillis is a senior reporter for ProPublica and the recipient of the George Polk Award, the Robin Toner prize, and other honours. He worked previously at The Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, and The New Republic, and his journalism has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker,The Atlantic, and other publications. His ProPublica reporting on Dayton, Ohio was the basis of a PBS Frontline documentary about the city. He is the author of The Cynic, a 2014 biography of Mitch McConnell. He lives in Baltimore.

OLD VINTAGE MELBOURNE

Chris Macheras

An enchanting collection of annotated historical images and contemporary photographs, revealing the change and development that Melbourne has experienced over the years.

In 1835, as he walked the sacred grounds of the Boon Wurrung and Woi Wurrung peoples of the Kulin Nations, John Batman wrote in his diary, ‘This will be the place for a village.’ That small village rapidly grew into the vibrant city of Melbourne.

Historical photographs are a window to the past — a time capsule that allows us to walk in the footsteps of our predecessors. Now, this collection enables us to imagine strolling down Bourke Street in 1875, or catching a Collins Street tram in 1910, or walking through the city’s inner suburbs many years ago. As well, a series of then-and-now photographs reveals a striking contrast between the Melbourne of yesteryear and the city we are familiar with today.

Adapted from the popular ‘Old Vintage Melbourne’ Instagram account, this book invites you to reminisce about and cherish the important heritage of the city of Melbourne. Turn back the clock and immerse yourself in these captivating chronicles of an incredibly diverse, unique city.

‘[S]tunning … rarely seen glimpse[s] into life in Melbourne from the mid-1800s onward … this gem is one that anyone with an interest in our city’s history will want in their collection.’

Jen Kelly, Herald Sun

Chris Macheras

Chris Macheras is a Melbourne-born lawyer and artist. His Greek-Australian upbringing instilled an appreciation for the hardships his migrant grandparents endured in pursuit of a better life. His combined love of Melbourne, history, and photography led him to establish Old Vintage Melbourne, using social media as the platform to reach tens of thousands of others with shared interests.

BRAIN RULES FOR WORK

the science of thinking smarter in the office and at home John Medina

Bestselling author Dr John Medina turns his expertise to the professional world, guiding the reader through what brain science and evolutionary biology have to say about topics ranging from office space and work—life balance to power dynamics and work interactions.

Medina discusses vital questions to do with the workplace in the time of COVID-19, such as how to keep people interested in a presentation, how to keep oneself engaged in work and the office, and how to be productive — all based on scientific peer-reviewed research. He also covers topics such as why taking breaks in nature during the workday improves productivity; how planning a meeting beforehand makes it more effective; why an open-office plan isn’t a good office plan; how a more diverse team is a more potent team; why talking to co-workers online is so exhausting; why allowing for failure is vital to a company’s success; and much, much more.

As ever, Medina’s charming descriptions and hilarious anecdotes break the science down to practical applications that every reader can understand and benefit from.

John Medina

Dr John Medina, a developmental molecular biologist, has had a lifelong fascination with how the mind reacts to and organises information. He is the author of the internationally bestselling works Brain Rules, Brain Rules for Baby, and Brain Rules for Ageing Well. Medina is an affiliate professor of bioengineering at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

BEST AUSTRALIAN POLITICAL CARTOONS 2021

ed. Russ Radcliffe

The year in politics as observed by Australia’s funniest and most perceptive political cartoonists.

Featuring Dean Alston, Peter Broelman, Andrew Dyson, John Farmer, First Dog on the Moon, Matt Golding, Fiona Katauskas, Mark Knight, Jon Kudelka, Johannes Leak, Sean Leahy, Alan Moir, David Pope, David Rowe, John Spooner, Andrew Weldon, Cathy Wilcox, and more …

Russ Radcliffe

Russ Radcliffe created the annual Best Australian Political Cartoons series in 2003. His other books include: Man of Steel: a cartoon history of the Howard years in 2007; Dirt Files: a decade of Australian political cartoons in 2013; and My Brilliant Career: Malcolm Turnbull, a political life in cartoons in 2016.Russ has edited collections from some of Australia’s finest political cartoonists, including Matt Golding, Judy Horacek, Bill Leak, Alan Moir, Bruce Petty, John Spooner and David Rowe, and curated several exhibitions including Moments of Truth, Dirt Files and Suppositories of Wisdom.In 2013 Russ was awarded the Australian Cartoonists Association’s Jim Russell Award for his contribution to Australian cartooning.

CHRISTMAS IN SUBURBIA

Warren Kirk

From the acclaimed photographer Warren Kirk comes this charming collection of Christmas as it’s celebrated in the Australian suburbs.

Contains 24 individual postcards — perfect to send or to keep.

 

 

 

Praise for Northside:‘Warren Kirk’s photographs are at once evocative yet mysterious. The Melbourne photographer doesn't provide any detail about his subjects, except the name of the suburb in which they were shot. He's happy to let the images do the storytelling.’

Kerrie O’Brien, Sydney Morning Herald

Warren Kirk

Warren Kirk has been a documentary photographer for over 30 years. His previous books are the acclaimed Westography (2016), Suburbia (2018), and Northside (2020).

CRIMES AGAINST NATURE

capitalism and global heating Jeff Sparrow

A polemic about global warming and the environmental crisis, which argues that ordinary people have consistently opposed the destruction of nature and so provide an untapped constituency for climate action.

Crimes Against Nature uses fresh material to offer a very different take on the most important issue of our times. It takes the familiar narrative about global warming — the one in which we are all to blame — and inverts it, to show how, again and again, pollution and ecological devastation have been imposed on the population without our consent and (often) against our will. From histories of destruction, it distils stories of hope, highlighting the repeated yearning for a more sustainable world.

In the era of climate strikes, viral outbreaks, and Extinction Rebellion, Crimes Against Nature moves from ancient Australia to the ‘corpse economy’ of Georgian Britain to the ‘Kitchen Debate’ of the Cold War, to present an unexpected and optimistic environmental history — one that identifies ordinary people not as a collective problem but as a powerful force for change.

Praise for Fascists Among Us:‘This short but incisive book builds to a stirring and well-argued conclusion … What Sparrow does so eloquently … is overtly link fascism, historically and theoretically, with political violence.’ FOUR STARS

Kelsey Oldham, Books + Publishing

Jeff Sparrow

Jeff Sparrow is a writer, editor, broadcaster, and Walkley award-winning journalist. He is a columnist for The Guardian Australia, a former Breakfaster at Melbourne’s 3RRR, and a past editor of Overland literary journal. His most recent books are Fascists Among Us: online hate and the Christchurch massacre; Trigger Warnings: political correctness and the rise of the right; and No Way But This: in search of Paul Robeson. He lectures at the Centre for Advancing Journalism at the University of Melbourne.

CAMPESE

the last of the dream sellers James Curran

In the 1980s and early 1990s, David Campese thrilled spectators both in Australia and overseas with his footloose, crazy-brave style of free running. This book tells the story of his rise from humble beginnings to the very top of a global sport.

As a rugby player, David Campese seemed to operate on cross-grained pure instinct, one that left many a defender clutching at him in vain, stranded in the slipstream of his audacity. Hailed as the ‘Bradman of rugby’ by former Wallaby coach Alan Jones, and the ‘Pele’ of rugby by others, Campese was a match-winner.

The refrain ‘I saw Campese play’ now speaks to much more than wistful reminiscences about a player widely regarded as the most entertaining ever to play the game of Rugby Union. It has come to represent a state of chronic disbelief that the Wallaby ascendancy of Campese’s era has been seemingly squandered.

Campese occupies a unique intersection in rugby’s history: one of its last amateurs, and one of its first professionals. He had shown, too, that coming from outside the traditional bastions of rugby — the private schools and universities — was no barrier to reaching the top. Indeed, he challenged that establishment and unsettled it, warning in the early 1990s that the code risked ‘dying’ if more was not done to expand its appeal.

David Campese revolutionised how the game was played and appreciated. His genius, most visibly manifest in his outrageous goosestep, captured the national and sporting imagination. The rigid, robotic rugby of today appears incapable of accommodating a player of his dash and daring.

‘A smart writer pursues one of Australia’s most elusive and enigmatic champions. The result is shrewd, measured, evocative, and, at times, transporting.’

Gideon Haigh, author of On Warne

James Curran

James Curran is Professor of Modern History at Sydney University. The author of a number of books on Australian politics and foreign policy, he is a foreign affairs columnist for the Australian Financial Review and is writing a history of Australia–China relations. His poetry has been published in Meanjin and Quadrant, and his rugby writing in Midi-Olympique. Curran played rugby as a five-eighth in the lower grades of the Sydney club competition in the early 1990s.

DOWN AND OUT IN ENGLAND AND ITALY

Alberto Prunetti (trans. Elena Pala)

A wry, filthy, and unputdownable look at class and national identity today.

Alberto Prunetti arrives in the UK, the twenty-something year old son of a Tuscan factory worker who has never left home before. With only broken English, his wits, and an obsession with the work of George Orwell to guide him, he sets about looking for a job and navigating his new home.

In between slaving in pizzerias and cleaning toilets up and down the country, he finds his place among the British precariat. His comrades form a polyglot underclass, among them an ex-addict cook, a cleaner in love with opera, an elderly Shakespearean actor, Turks impersonating Neapolitans to serve pizzas, and a cast of petty criminals ‘resting’ between bigger jobs.

Stuck between a past haunted by Thatcher and a future dominated by Brexit, Down and Out in England and Italy is a hilarious and poignant snapshot of life on the margins in modern day Britain.

‘A hallucinatory and savage account of modern working life. Both surreal and instantly recognisable.’

Jeff Sparrow, author of No Way But This and Trigger Warnings

Alberto Prunetti

Alberto Prunetti was born in a Tuscan steel town in 1973. A former pizza chef, cleaner, and handyman, he is also the author of five novels and has translated works by George Orwell, Angela Davis, David Graeber, and many others. Since 2018 he has directed the Working Class books series for the publisher Edizioni Alegre. Down and Out in England and Italy won the Ultima Frontiera Award and was a finalist for the Biella Literature and Industry Prizes.

NINA

a story of Nina Simone Traci N. Todd (illus. Christian Robinson)

This illuminating and defining biography from bestselling author Traci N. Todd, with illustrations from award-winner Christian Robinson, tells the story of Eunice Waymon, who grew up to become Nina Simone — and shares her bold, defiant, and exultant legacy with a new generation.

With passion and unparalleled skill, Traci N. Todd and Christian Robinson bring this iconic singer’s story to young readers and their families. Meet young Eunice, who sang before she could talk, and journey with her from the piano stool she shared with her father in her childhood home, to the bars and concert halls where she became the one and only Nina Simone. 

Learn about how Nina’s voice started out rich and sweet but grew to a thunderous roar as the Civil Rights Movement gained steam. Witness this artist in all her brilliance, singing in protest against racial inequality and discrimination. With rhythmic prose and masterful images, Nina perfectly demonstrates the relationship between art and activism. An essential addition to every young reader’s library.

‘Enlightening … Robinson’s pictures paint vivid images that undertone the harsh reality of life for black people in America ... this biography should be a fundamental piece of every young reader’s book collection.’

Fiona Buckley, Irish Examiner

Traci N. Todd

When Chicago native Traci N. Todd was born, her father decided her initials should stand for dynamite, just like his. He raised her on Ray Charles and Nina Simone, and her mother read her every good book. Traci grew up to become a children’s book editor and currently lives in Jackson Heights, Queens, where she writes, edits, and listens to Ray Charles and Nina Simone, while her partner draws comic books.

TOMORROW IS A BRAND-NEW DAY

Davina Bell (illus. Allison Colpoys)

The follow-up to bestselling All the Ways to be Smart by Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys. 

Good or bad, the things you do
are all a part of being you —
of learning how to take your boat
on stormy seas and stay afloat.

From the creators of All the Ways To Be Smart comes a message of hope: hard days come and go, but love is with us always. A healing and uplifting tribute to learning and growing — to making mistakes and making amends.

Davina Bell

Davina Bell is an award-winning author of books for young readers of many ages. She writes picture books (including Under the Love Umbrella and All the Ways To Be Smart), as well as junior fiction, middle-grade fiction, and YA. Davina lives in Melbourne, where she works as a children’s book publisher. She talks to kids and adults around the country about the enchanting world of books and ideas.

AMERICAN KLEPTOCRACY

how the U.S. created the greatest money-laundering scheme in history Casey Michel

An explosive investigation into how the United States of America built one of the largest illicit offshore finance systems in the world.

For years, one country has acted as the greatest offshore haven in the world, attracting hundreds of billions of dollars in illicit finance tied directly to corrupt regimes, extremist networks, and the worst the world has to offer. But it hasn’t been the sand-splattered Caribbean islands, or even traditional financial secrecy havens like Switzerland or Panama that have come to dominate the offshoring world. Instead, the country profiting the most also happens to be the one that still claims to be the moral leader of the free world, and the one that claims to be leading the fight against the crooked and the corrupt: the United States of America.

American Kleptocracy examines just how the United States’ implosion into a centre of global offshoring took place: how states such as Delaware and Nevada perfected the art of the anonymous shell company; how post-9/11 reformers watched their success usher in a new flood of illicit finance directly into the U.S.; how African despots and post-Soviet oligarchs came to dominate American coastlines, American industries, and entire cities and small towns across the American Midwest; how Nazi-era lobbyists birthed an entire industry of spin-men whitewashing transnational crooks and despots; how dirty money has now begun infiltrating America's universities, think tanks, and cultural centres; and how those on the front line are trying to restore America’s legacy of anti-corruption leadership — and finally end this reign of American kleptocracy.

It also looks at how Trump’s presidency accelerated all of the trends already on hand — and how the Biden administration can, and should, act on this tawdry inheritance.

‘Casey Michel cuts through the spin, to reveal the inner workings of the American economy. His writing has shown again and again the subterfuges and secrecy at the heart of how money moves through the financial system, and does it with panache, wit, and a blessed aversion to jargon. I always read his work, and can't wait to read this one.’

Oliver Bullough, author of the international bestseller Moneyland: the inside story of the crooks and kleptocrats who rule the world

Casey Michel

Casey Michel is a journalist whose writings on offshoring, kleptocracy, and financial secrecy have appeared in Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Vox, The New Republic, and POLITICO Magazine, among others. He is an Adjunct Fellow with the Hudson Institute’s Kleptocracy Initiative, and has contributed research pertaining to offshoring, illicit finance, and foreign interference to the German Marshall Fund, the Human Rights Foundation, and others.