Barbara Duncan

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Being Here

Born in Germany in 1876, Paula Modersohn-Becker was the first female artist to paint herself not only naked but pregnant. Being Here is a moving account of the life of this ground-breaking Expressionist painter, by the acclaimed French writer Marie Darrieussecq. 

As her art evolves, Paula is torn between Paris and her home in northern Germany. In Paris she can focus on her work, and mix with artists like Rodin and Monet, or her close friend the poet Rainer Maria Rilke. But Germany is home, and that’s where her painter husband Otto lives.

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Why does love last? Does love ever work the way it does in films, books and social media? Or does our obsessing over love stories harm real relationships? These were questions Mandy Len Catron set out to answer when her parents’ 28-year marriage and her own 10-year relationship finished almost concurrently.

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One Leg Over

Toni Tapp grew up on the massive Killarney Station, where her stepfather, Bill Tapp, was a cattle king. But there was no ‘big house’ here – Toni did not grow up in a large homestead. She lived in a shack that had no electricity and no running water. The oppressive climate of the Territory – either wet or dry – tested everyone. Fish were known to rain from the sky and sometimes good men drank too much and drowned trying to cross-swollen rivers. [click to continue…]

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The Best Australian Stories

In The Best Australian Stories 2013, Kim Scott assembles the most exceptional short fiction of the last year and invites readers to build ‘a rare and intimate relationship’ with these talented writers, one that is ‘essential to storytelling in print, whether on paper or screen.’ [click to continue…]

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A Sunburnt Childhood

Toni Tapp grew up on the massive Killarney Station, where her stepfather, Bill Tapp, was a cattle king. But there was no ‘big house’ here – Toni did not grow up in a large homestead. She lived in a shack that had no electricity and no running water. The oppressive climate of the Territory – either wet or dry – tested everyone. Fish were known to rain from the sky and sometimes good men drank too much and drowned trying to cross-swollen rivers. [click to continue…]

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TheTurner House

The Turners have lived on Yarrow Street for over fifty years. Their house has seen thirteen children grown and gone – and some returned; it has seen the arrival of grandchildren, the fall of Detroit’s East Side, the loss of a father.

The house still stands despite abandoned lots, an embattled city, and the inevitable shift outward to the suburbs.

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The Broken Shore

Sir Samuel Griffith belonged to an age in which a person could fully explore their diverse interests and make a significant contribution to the community in not one but many fields.

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Fair Food

Australia’s food system is more than just broken: it’s killing us. Now is the time to act, to make a difference – to change the world.

The groundbreaking Fair Food tells the new story of food: how food and farming in Australia are dramatically transforming at the grassroots level towards reconnection, towards healing – of the land, of each other. It offers a compelling and coherent vision of how our future can be so much better than our present and our past, and how each of us can make a difference.

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Your father, his head is a ghost trap. It’s all he can do to open his mouth without letting them all howl out. Even so, you can still see them, sliding around the dark behind his eyes . . .

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Moreton Bay is a marvellous marine paradise. Drench your senses in its beauty and thrill to its darker moods. Bay Tales is a tribute to the many wonderful people who share the joy of boating on the Bay. The sometimes-humorous fishing yarns combined with descriptions of fauna create an invaluable record of the varied habitats around the Bay.

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Bloodhound

I looked up the name in the phone book and rang the number. I tried to imagine the conversation that might ensue. ‘Hello? I was wondering if you’re the man who was recently at an auction and asked a woman named Bernadette if I was married and had children and was happy – and if […]

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Ransacking Paris

What does it mean to fulfil a dream long after it seems possible? When Patti Miller arrives to write in Paris for a year, the world glows ‘as if the light that comes after the sun has gone down has spilled gold on everything’. But wasn’t that just romantic illusion? Miller grew up on Wiradjuri […]

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Fall Girl

Meet Ella Canfield, highly qualified evolutionary biologist — attractive, if a little serious-looking in those heavy glasses — but then she’s about to put her career on the line. Dr Canfield is seeking funding for a highly unorthodox research project. She wants to prove that an extinct animal still roams in one of Australia’s most […]

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Kat Jumps the Shark

Kat Kelly reckons she’s got life sorted. She has a man who cooks and does the dishes. A stepdaughter she adores and her dream job — scouting locations for a TV production company. All the big dramas are behind her, right?

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Foreign Soil

In Melbourne’s western suburbs, in a dilapidated block of flats overhanging the rattling Footscray train lines, a young black mother is working on a collection of stories. The book is called Foreign Soil. Inside its covers, a desperate asylum seeker is pacing the hallways of Sydney’s notorious Villawood detention centre; a seven-year-old Sudanese boy has […]

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Addition

Grace Lisa Vandenburg counts. The letters in her name (19). The steps she takes every morning to the local café (920); the number of poppy seeds on her slice of orange cake, which dictates the number of bites she’ll take to finish it. Grace counts everything, because numbers hold the world together. And she needs […]

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Gazing at the Stars

In March 1939, seven-year-old Eva Weiss’s innocence was shattered by Germany’s invasion of her homeland, Slovakia. Over the next five years, as the Nazi persecution of Europe’s Jews gathered momentum, Eva’s parents were forced to send their children into hiding, but she and her sister Marta could not avoid capture.

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The Accident

A rainy night. A car crash. After the accident Sarah moves to a new school. A new place where no one knows what happened to her or her brother — where she doesn’t have to deal with the history that’s pulling the rest of her family apart. Will is keeping his head down at home, […]

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The Anatomy of Wings

Trying to make sense of the sudden death of her teenage sister Beth, she looks to the adult world around her for answers. As she recounts the final months of Beth’s life, Jennifer sifts through the lies and the truth, but what she finds are mysteries, miracles and more questions.

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Mullumbimby

When Jo Breen uses her divorce settlement to buy a neglected property in the Byron Bay hinterland, she is hoping for a tree change and a blossoming connection to the land of her Aboriginal ancestors.

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