John Sharpe

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Imperfect Creations

For millennia, humankind has searched for an intellectual Holy Grail – a unifying theory to explain the origins of the universe and our place in it.

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Before I Sleep

In the early 1970s, Queensland was a haven for crooks from both sides of the law. It was into this hothouse that Ray Whitrod was controversially appointed as police commissioner in 1970. Just six years later he resigned from the head role of the Queensland Police Force, no longer willing to tolerate the interference of the Bjelke- Petersen government. It was a decision that the Fitzgerald Inquiry would later, gloriously, vindicate.

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What if you saved a man’s life and he went on to play a leading role in one of the bloodiest revolutions of modern times?

Ted Whittlemore, a radical Australian journalist, does just that. In the late ‘60s, he saves Nhem Kiry, soon to become known as ‘Pol Pot’s mouthpiece’. The consequences haunt him for the rest of his days. When the Khmer Rouge take power in Cambodia, Whittlemore watches, fascinated and horrified, as the ideals he holds dear are translated into unfathomable violence.

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Finding Eliza

Aboriginal lawyer, writer and filmmaker Larissa Behrendt has long been fascinated by the story of Eliza Fraser, who was purportedly captured by the Butchulla people after she was shipwrecked on their island in 1836. In this deeply personal book, Behrendt uses Eliza’s tale as a starting point to interrogate how Aboriginal people – and indigenous people of other countries – have been portrayed in their colonisers’ stories.

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Memoirs from the Corner Country

Nanna was an imposing woman. She was large and dark, with strong arms and silver hair. Her scars bore testament to her adven- tures.

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Their Brilliant Careers

In Their Brilliant Careers, Ryan O’Neill has written a hilarious novel in the guise of sixteen biographies of (invented) Australian writers. Meet Rachel Deverall, who unearthed the secret source of the great literature of our time – and paid a terrible price for her discovery. Meet Rand Washington, hugely popular sci-fi author (of Whiteman of LCor) and inverterate racist. Meet Addison Tiller, master of the bush yarn, “The Chekhov of Coolabah”, who never travelled outside Sydney. [click to continue…]

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Playing the Game

Born on a remote island to a migrant Chinese father and an indigenous mother, Julius Chan overcame poverty, discrimination and family tragedy to become one of Papua New Guinea’s longest-serving and most influential politicians. His 50-year career, including two terms as Prime Minister, spans a crucial period of the country’s history, particularly its coming of age from an Australian colony to a leading democratic nation in the South Pacific.

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Confronting and at times terrifying, this is a first-hand account of Domenico ‘Mick’ Cacciola’s life as a Licensing, Special Branch and CIB detective over four decades.

Who’s Who in the Zoo captures the colour and grit of policing in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, which in its heyday was the sleazy epicentre of illegal gambling and prostitution.

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Before Rupert

The unauthorised biography of Australia’s first media magnate.

Following the News of the World phone-hacking scandal, Rupert Murdoch said his greatest regret was that he had let his father down. Popular history views Sir Keith Murdoch (1885–1952) as a fearless war correspondent – author of the famous letter that led to the evacuation of the Anzac force from Gallipoli – and a principled journalist and dedicated family man who, on his death, left a single provincial newspaper to Rupert. But is there another side to the story of Keith’s success and the origins of News Corporation?

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Hello, Beautiful!

I realise that, despite all the references to my longing to be a writer, two things are apparent. The first is that I don’t actually do much writing; the second is that my teenage reflections display absolutely no talent for it. My Diary is prima facie evidence of self-delusion on a grand scale.

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On Bunyah

Les Murray lives in Bunyah, near Taree in New South Wales. He has published some thirty books. His work is studied in schools and universities around Australia and has been translated into several foreign languages. In 1996 he was awarded the T.S. Eliot Prize for poetry, in 1998 the Queen’s Gold Medal for poetry, and […]

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Peripheral Vision

A teenager on the tram meets an old man claiming to be Jesus Christ. Six young women band together on a night prowl. A Filipino immigrant clashes with his eldest sister, who has brought him to Australia for a better life. And in a future where dogs have risen up against their owners, a mother […]

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The country we were drive through was flat as an iron and bone dry. The sky was big, blue and empty, except for a flaming ball of sun, low in the sky. It had tracked us all day like a satellite and it looked about ready to explode.

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Toowong – A Community’s History

Toowong – a community’s history has been written by 16 authors, all from different walks of life but with specific connections to Toowong. In writing their chapters, they drew on their own recollections and research as well as a store of happily shared memories of other residents.

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The Promise Seed

An elderly man, living alone in the suburbs, thinks back on his life – the missed opportunities, the shocking betrayals, the rare moments of joy.

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Across the Seas

Today, Australia’s response to asylum-seeking ‘boat people’ is a hot- button issue that feeds the political news cycle. But the daily reports and political promises lack the historical context that would allow for informed debate. Have we ever taken our fair share of refugees? Have our past responses been motivated by humanitarian concerns or economic […]

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Black Rock White City

Black Rock White City is a novel about the damages of war, the limits of choice and the hope of love.

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The Rise & Fall of Great Powers

Who is Tooly Zylberberg? How did she end up running a second- hand bookstore in Wales? The Russian émigré Humphrey teaches her to play chess, but how does he fit in? Or Sarah who turns up without warning and then disappears again? And what about Venn, the shadowy and charismatic figure who seems to be […]

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Charlie Jardim has just trashed his legal career in a spectacular courtroom meltdown, and his girlfriend has finally left him. So when a charitable colleague slings him a prosecution brief that will take him to the remote coastal town of Dauphin, Charlie reluctantly agrees that the sea air might be good for him.

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The Ash Burner

Growing up with his father in a small coastal town, all Ted knows about his mother is that she died when he was a boy. His father has brought them halfway across the world to start anew but her absence defines and haunts their lives.

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