This House of Grief: The Story of a Murder Trial

About the book

On the evening of 4 September 2005, Father's Day, Robert Farquharson, a separated husband, was driving his three sons home to their mother, Cindy, when his car left the road and plunged into a dam. The boys, aged ten, seven and two, drowned. Was this an act of revenge or a tragic accident? The court case became Helen Garner's obsession. She followed it on its protracted course until the final verdict.

Private Bill

About the book

Barrie Cassidy's father Bill survived more than four years as a prisoner of war in World War II. He first saw conflict on Crete in May 1941. Just four days later, Bill was wounded and captured. His new wife Myra and his large family thought he was dead until news of his capture finally reached them. Back home, many years of silence after the war, unhealed wounds unexpectedly opened for Bill and Myra, testing them once again. Private Bill is a heart-warming story of how a loving couple prevailed over the adversities of war to live an extraordinarily ordinary, happy life.

Encountering the Pacific: In the Age of Enlightenment

About the book

This book surveys the consequent encounters between European expansionism and the peoples of the Pacific. John Gascoigne weaves together the stories of British, French, Spanish, Dutch and Russian voyages to destinations throughout the Pacific region. In a lively and lucid style, he brings to life the idealism, adventures and frustrations of a colourful cast of historical figures. Drawing upon a range of fields, he explores the complexities of the relationships between European and Pacific peoples.

Wild Bleak Bohemia: Marcus Clarke, Adam Lindsay Gordon and Henry Kendall

About the book

Meticulously researched using contemporary newspaper reports, court records, published memoirs, private letters and diaries, Michael Wilding tells the story of three troubled geniuses of Australian writing. The study spreads out to cover the early and later years of the three writers and in doing so, as its centrepiece, recreates literary and Bohemian life in Melbourne in the 1860s. It is aptly subtitled 'A documentary', since it shares many of the characteristics of that genre.

John Olsen: An Artist's Life

About the book

This biography graphically depicts the forces that drove John Olsen to become one of Australia's greatest artists. An exhilarating book, both trenchant and tender, it strips away the veneer of showmanship and fame to show the substance of a painter driven by a need to depict his country's landscape as Australians had never seen it before. From a child who was never taken to an art gallery, Olsen became the famous artist in the black beret, the writer and poet, the engaging public speaker, the bon vivant—whose life has been defined by an absolute need to paint.

'Island Home'

About the book

For over thirty years, Tim Winton has written novels in which the natural world is as much a living presence as any character. Island Home is the story of how that relationship with the Australian landscape came to be, and how it has determined his ideas, his writing and his life. It is also a passionate exhortation for all of us to feel the ground beneath our feet. A brilliant, moving insight into the life and art of one of our finest writers, and a compelling investigation into the way our country makes us who we are.

'Second Half First'

About the book

In Second Half First Modjeska looks back on the past 30 years and how they have shaped her. From a childhood in England to her time as a young newlywed in Papua New Guinea (PNG)—arriving as a single woman in Sydney in the 1970s and building close friendships, and the lovers who sometimes derailed her—to returning to PNG to found a literacy program, this is an intensely personal account of an examined life. In it Modjeska asks candid questions about love and independence, ageing, death, the bonds of friendship and family. The result is an intellectually provocative and deeply moving memoir.

'Thea Astley: Inventing her own Weather'

About the book

This is the first book-length biography of Thea Astley, one of our most critically acclaimed writers. She was the first woman to win  the Miles Franklin Award multiple times—four in total. With many of her works published internationally, Astley was a trailblazer for women writers. Karen Lamb has drawn on an unparalleled range of interviews and correspondence to create a detailed picture of Thea the woman, as well as Astley the writer. She has sought to understand Astleys private world and how that shaped the distinctive body of work that is Thea Astleys literary legacy.

On Stalin's Team: the Years of Living Dangerously in Soviet Politics

About the book

Drawing on extensive original research, Sheila Fitzpatrick provides the first in-depth account of Stalin's dedicated comrades-in-arms, who not only worked closely with their leader, but constituted his social circle. Key team members were Stalin's number-two man, Molotov, the military leader Voroshilov, the charismatic and entrepreneurial Ordzhonikidze, the wily security chief Beria, and the deceptively simple Khrushchev, who finally disbanded the team in 1957 to become sole leader of the Soviet Union.

'Tom Roberts and the Art of Portraiture'

About the book

Julie Cotter examines the portraits by the Australian Impressionist artist Tom Roberts focusing upon the extraordinary range of subjects, their lives and their historical significance. The book places to the fore a body of work that comprises some 280 portraits representing approximately 35 per cent of Robertss total output. Roberts explores the diversity of Australian identity in his depiction of members of Sydney and Melbourne society as well as portraits of pastoralists, farmhands, pearl divers and itinerants. The book culminates in a chapter devoted to Australia's major history painting...
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