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We introduced this service last year and we welcome your questions again in 2021.
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Our trans-Tasman neighbours
In celebration and anticipation of the forthcoming trans-Tasman travel bubble, here is a selection of wonderful Australian novels and novelists.
· The Narrow Road to the Deep North won the Man Booker Prize in 2014 for Richard Flanagan, telling the story of an Australian doctor and his struggle to come to terms with memories of his experiences as a prisoner of war during the construction of the Burma Railway.
· Two working-class Perth families come to share a large house called Cloudstreet, in Tim Winton’s novel, spanning twenty years of the lives of the Pickles and the Lambs.
· In the small Australian country town of Gunapan, single mother Loretta Boskovic is short of money, influence and a fully functioning car, in Paddy O’Reilly’s novel The Fine Colour of Rust, but that doesn’t stop her fighting the good fight when the local primary school is threatened with closure.
· A Manx ship takes aboard two English Passengers on a voyage to look for the Garden of Eden in Tasmania in Matthew Kneale’s historical novel, interspersed with the story of the Aboriginal Tasmanians’ doomed struggle against British invaders.
· Mean mums and schoolyard scandals feature in Liane Moriarty’s biting and witty Big Little Lies.
· The novel Markus Zusak wrote after The Book Thief won international acclaim is Bridge of Clay, about five brothers who bring each other up after their father mysteriously disappears.
· Two strangers stumble upon an isolated opal-mining town in Janette Turner Hospital’s novel, Oyster, where a heavy, guilty feeling scents the hot, parched air.
· In March, Geraldine Brooks imagines the story behind the absent father of Louisa May Alcott’s novel Little Women, as he fights for the Union in the American Civil war.
· Indigenous author Alexis Wright won the Miles Franklin Award with Carpentaria, which tells the interconnected stories of the inhabitants of Desperance, situated on the Gulf of Carpentaria in north-west Queensland, where the Aboriginal people of the Pricklebush clan are engaged in conflict on multiple fronts, not least with a multinational mining corporation.
· Kieran is one of The Survivors of a tragic day in the history of a small coastal town, a day whose long-buried secrets are threatened with exposure when a body is discovered on the beach in Jane Harper’s latest novel.