Bedtime Story
Chloe Hooper

From the best-selling author of The Tall Man and The Arsonist, a personal tale about death, life and the enchantment of stories. With illustrations by Anna Walker.

Let me tell you a story…

When Chloe Hooper’s partner is diagnosed with a rare and aggressive illness, she has to find a way to tell their two young sons. By instinct, she turns to the bookshelf. Can the news be broken as a bedtime tale? Is there a perfect book to prepare children for loss?

Hooper embarks on a quest to find what practical lessons children’s literature—with its innocent orphans and evil adults, magic, monsters and anthropomorphic animals—can teach about grief and resilience in real life. From the Brothers Grimm to Frances Hodgson Burnett and Tolkien and Dahl—all of whom suffered childhood bereavements—she follows the breadcrumbs of the world’s favourite authors, searching for the deep wisdom in their books and lives.

Both memoir and manual, Bedtime Story is stunningly illustrated by the New York Times award-winning Anna Walker. In an age of worldwide uncertainty, here is a profound and moving exploration of the dark and light of storytelling.

‘Everything you’d ever want in a bedtime story – heroes and heroines, puzzles and dangers, invisible forces, birds, trees, beasts, poetry, sadness and joy. Stories within stories. I was spellbound from the start. As for the ending… I can’t tell you that.’ Paul Kelly OA

‘Chloe Hooper has a formidable talent to take complex stories and ideas and truths, and to distil them into a language of direct and powerful beauty. This is a story of grief and of patience, of hope and acceptance. It is also a reminder of the solace that books give us, and of how the imaginary worlds we dive into as children remain with is for all our lives, of how they guide us into adulthood and maturity. There is a quiet courage and strength in this book. It is both gentle and uncompromising, a love letter to family and to literature that is bracingly unsentimental. I was profoundly moved, and profoundly grateful.’ Christos Tsiolkas, author of The Slap and Damascus

‘This book is a miracle of light and meaning-making from one of our finest writers. Venturing inward with extraordinary grace, Hooper explores – and extends – the long literary line surging with our deepest inherited wisdom about how to embrace our finite lives. The result is nothing less than the hero’s journey we have been collectively starving for. Telling you this is like trying to describe the sun; it is a book so powerful and beautiful – so utterly its own – that it can only be experienced directly.’ Sarah Krasnostein, author of The Trauma Cleaner and The Believer

Gathering Blossoms Under Fire: The Journals of Alice Walker
Alice Walker

 ‘These journals are a revelation, a road map and a gift to us all.’ – TAYARI JONES, author of An American Marriage

From the acclaimed author Alice Walker – winner of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize – comes an unprecedented compilation of four decades’ worth of journals that draw an intimate portrait of her development as an artist, intellectual and human rights activist.

In Gathering Blossoms Under Fire, Walker offers a passionate, intimate record of her intellectual, artistic and political development. She also intimately explores – in real time – her thoughts and feelings as a woman, a writer, an African American, a wife, a daughter, a mother, a lover, a sister, a friend, a citizen of the world. In an unvarnished and singular voice, she writes about an astonishing array of events: marching in Mississippi with other foot soldiers of the civil rights movement, led by Martin Luther King, Jr., or ‘the King’ as she called him; her marriage to a Jewish lawyer, partly to defy laws that barred interracial marriage in the 1960s South; an early miscarriage; the birth of her daughter; writing her first novel; the trials and triumphs of the women’s movement; erotic encounters and enduring relationships; the ‘ancestral visits’ that led her to write The Color Purple; winning the Pulitzer Prize; being admired and maligned, in sometimes equal measure, for her work and her activism; burying her mother; and her estrangement from her own daughter. The personal and the political are layered and intertwined in the revealing narrative that emerges from Walker’s journals.

Devil House
John Darnielle

From New York Times bestselling author and Mountain Goats singer/songwriter John Darnielle comes an epic, gripping novel about murder, truth, and the dangers of storytelling.

Gage Chandler is descended from kings. That’s what his mother always told him. Years later, he is a true crime writer, with one grisly success – and a movie adaptation – to his name, along with a series of subsequent less notable efforts. But now he is being offered the chance for his big break- to move into the house where a pair of briefly notorious murders occurred, apparently the work of disaffected teens during the Satanic Panic of the 1980s. Chandler finds himself in Milpitas, California, a small town whose name rings a bell – his closest childhood friend lived there, once upon a time. He begins his research with diligence and enthusiasm, but soon the story leads him into a puzzle he never expected – back into his own work and what it means, back to the very core of what he does and who he is.

Devil House is John Darnielle’s most ambitious work yet, a book that blurs the line between fact and fiction, that combines daring formal experimentation with a spellbinding tale of crime, writing, memory, and artistic obsession.

‘Quietly, as if stealing in on cat’s paws, John Darnielle has become, as a novelist, unignorable… His third novel, Devil House, is terrific – confident, creepy, a powerful and soulful page-turner. I had no idea where it was going, in the best possible sense… It’s never quite the book you think it is. It’s better.’ – Dwight Garner, The New York Times

Young Mungo
Douglas Stuart

From Booker Prize-winner Douglas Stuart, an extraordinary, page-turning second novel, a vivid portrayal of working-class life and a highly suspenseful story of the dangerous first love of two young men: Mungo and James.

Born under different stars, Protestant Mungo and Catholic James live in the hyper-masculine and violently sectarian world of Glasgow’s housing estates. They should be sworn enemies if they’re to be seen as men at all, and yet they become best friends as they find a sanctuary in the pigeon dovecote that James has built for his prize racing birds.

As they find themselves falling in love, they dream of escaping the grey city, and Mungo works especially hard to hide his true self from all those around him, especially from his elder brother Hamish, a local gang leader with a brutal reputation to uphold. But the threat of discovery is constant and the punishment unspeakable.

When Mungo’s mother sends him on a fishing trip to a loch in Western Scotland with two strange men whose drunken banter belies murky pasts, he will need to summon all his inner strength and courage to get back to a place of safety, a place where he and James might still have a future.

Imbuing the everyday world of its characters with rich lyricism and giving full voice to people rarely acknowledged in literary fiction, Douglas Stuart’s Young Mungo is a gripping and revealing story about the bounds of masculinity, the push and pull of family, the violence faced by so many queer people, and the dangers of loving someone too much.

Patricia Highsmith: Her Diaries and Notebooks
Patricia Highsmith

‘My secrets – the secrets that everyone has – are here, in black and white.’

Published for the very first time for the centenary of her birth, Patricia Highsmith’s diaries and notebooks offer an unparalleled, unforgettable insight into the life and mind of one of the 20th century’s most talented, complex and fascinating writers.

Posthumously discovered in Highsmith’s linen cupboard and edited down from 56 thick spiral notebooks by her devoted editor, Anna Von Planta, this one-volume assemblage of her diaries and notebooks traces Highsmith’s mesmerising double life. The diaries show Highsmith’s unwavering literary ambitions – coming often at huge personal sacrifice.

We see her writing the books that would make her name, including the Ripley novels which mark the apotheosis of the psychological thriller, and The Price of Salt (later adapted into the 2015 film Carol), one of the first mainstream novels to depict two women in love. In these pages, we see Highsmith reflecting on good and evil, loneliness and intimacy, sexuality and sacrifice, love and murder. We see her tumultuous romantic relationships play out alongside her acquaintances with other writers including Jane Bowles, Aaron Copland, John Gielgud, Truman Capote, Carson McCullers, Arthur Koestler, and W. H. Auden. And in her skewering of McCarthy-era America, her prickly disparagement of contemporary art, her fixation on love and writing, and ever-percolating prejudices, we see the famously secretive Highsmith revealing the roots of her psychological angst and acuity.

Written in her inimitable and dazzling prose and offering all the pleasures of Highsmith’s novels, these are one of the most compulsively readable literary diaries to publish in generations – and yield, at last an unparalleled, unfiltered, unforgettable picture of this enigmatic, iconic, trailblazing author’s true self.

The Idea of Australia
Julianne Schultz

‘Schultz reflects on how we might shake off our fears, our mediocrity and our moral torpor, and rediscover the country we once promised to be.’ – KERRY O’BRIEN

‘A penetrating analysis.’ – MELISSA LUCASHENKO

‘A triumph of art, politics, literature, history, and the deepest scholarship… A towering achievement.’ – JENNY HOCKING

What is the ‘idea of Australia’? What defines the soul of our nation? Are we an egalitarian, generous, outward-looking country? Or is Australia a place that has retreated into silence and denial about the past and become selfish, greedy and insular?

A lifetime of watching Australia as a journalist, editor, academic and writer has given Julianne Schultz a unique platform from which to ask and answer these critical questions. The global pandemic gave her time to study the X-ray of our country and the opportunity for perspective and analysis. Schultz came to realise that the idea of Australia is a contest between those who are imaginative, hopeful, altruistic and ambitious, and those who are defensive and inward-looking. She became convinced we need to acknowledge and better understand our past to make sense of our present and build a positive and inclusive future. She suggests what Australia could be: smart, compassionate, engaged, fair and informed.

This important, searing and compelling book explains us to ourselves and suggests ways Australia can realise her true potential. Urgent, inspiring and optimistic, The Idea of Australia presents the vision we need to fully appreciate our great strengths and crucial challenges.

Professor Emeritus Julianne Schultz AM FAHA is the Chair of The Conversation. She was the publisher and founding editor of Griffith Review, and is Professor Emeritus of Media and Culture at Griffith’s Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research, and a member of the advisory board of the Gradient Institute. She is an acclaimed author of several books, including Reviving the Fourth Estate (Cambridge) and Steel City Blues (Penguin), and the librettos to the award-winning operas Black River and Going Into Shadows. In 2009, Julianne became a Member of the Order of Australia for services to journalism and the community, and an honorary fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities the following year. She has served on the board of directors of the ABC, Grattan Institute and Copyright Agency, and chaired the Australian Film TV and Radio School, Queensland Design Council and National Cultural Policy Reference Group.

‘Timely, bracing, and ultimately hopeful.’ – YASSMIN ABDEL-MAGIED

‘A brilliant successor to Donald Horne’s The Lucky Country.’ – TOM GRIFFITHS

‘A contemporary classic in the making.’ – CHRISTINE WALLACE

‘Utterly compelling, engrossing and extraordinary.’ – ANNE TIERNAN

The Tree of Ecstasy and Unbearable Sadness
Matt Ottley

‘Even before he was born, he was cherished. But there was, even then, deep within him, a seed. As the seed sprouted and grew, it made the boy see things invisible to others.’

An author, visual artist and composer, Matt Ottley has combined his talents in his latest work to create a multi-modal sensory feast that merges words, art and music.

The Tree of Ecstasy and Unbearable Sadness is a groundbreaking, large-scale and multi-modal project weaving the worlds of literature, music, and visual art together in the story of one boy’s journey into mental illness.

The narrative unfolds around the metaphor of a tree, growing within the boy, whose flower is ecstasy and whose fruit is sadness.

The Tree of Ecstasy and Unbearable Sadness is inspired by the experiences of its creator, Matt Ottley, who has lived with bipolar disorder all his life and been hospitalised on numerous occasions in mental health facilities. Having personally experienced the prejudices and challenges that come from suffering a mental illness, Matt’s aim is to offer a sensory insight through words, music, and images into the experiences of those who suffer from such debilitating illnesses, particularly psychosis. The journey is enhanced by the accompanying musical score, which readers are encouraged to listen to as they read (CD included within the book).

Ultimately, this multi-modal work is about society and belief, and about beauty, resilience, and hope. Recommended for readers 15+.

Clean
Scott-Patrick Mitchell

Our lucent teeth spark the rainbow dark.
Here, we do not use words like love.
Instead, we speak with hands that hold
as shoulders tussle

the roughhouse rougher. 

In the absence of daylight,
we are just two young men,
silent save for giggle and shoe scuff:

we do not rouse suspicion when touching. 

from ‘Night Orchids’


In this volume, Scott-Patrick Mitchell propels us into the seething mess of the methamphetamine crisis in Australia today. These poems roil and scratch, exploring the precarious life of addiction and its sleep deprivation. From an unsteady and unsavoury life, we are released into the joy of a recovery made through sheer hard work.

Even in the disintegration, the poet points us towards love and carries tenderness every day in memory. Scott-Patrick Mitchell’s decades of spoken-word practice has enabled a fine tuning on the page when, for so many readers, we enter into an alien zone of unknowing. 

Scott-Patrick Mitchell is a WA-based non-binary poet who is a guest on unceded Whadjuk Noongar land. SPM’s work appears in Contemporary Australian PoetryThe Fremantle Press Anthology of Western Australian PoetrySolid AirStories of Perth and Going Postal. A seasoned performance poet, Mitchell has toured Australia with works that have fused language and minimal baroque. A focus for the poet is in building community through their work with Perth Poetry Festival and WA Poets Inc’s Emerging Writers Program. They live with two black cats, Beowulf and Bones.

“This work will change readers — it will reach deep into their psyches and have them checking their interior lives, as well as how they live their lives in the shared world. Scott-Patrick Mitchell is a remarkable poet who shifts and realigns language, because it must be placed under pressure, given the pressures we live under. Confronting the trauma of addiction, we move with the poet through to being ‘clean’, and all the complexities around that new clarity. A poet of intense empathy with others and who has a unique way of processing ideas that arise from experience, they travel the streets of Perth, and the contradictions of private grief and communal presence, with phenomenal linguistic skill. This is the book that comes after and beyond Michael Dransfield’s Drug Poems. It is a lodestar book — a book you will never forget.” – JOHN KINSELLA

Yo! The early days of Hip Hop 1982-84
Sophie Bramly / Soul Jazz Records

Sophie Bramly lived in New York in the early 1980s and became firmly embedded in the emergent hip hop scene. The book features many stunning, intimate images of a star-studded roll call of legendary hip hop figures, all of whom were only just getting known or in their ascendency.

Bramly knew that hip hop was becoming a cultural force rather than just a musical fashion, and spent many hours photographing the four essential elements of this new world: the emcees, the deejays, the graffiti artists and the break dancers.

So aside from the many stars of hip-hop you will also see legendary graffiti artists captured at work and play, such as Keith Haring, Dondi, Futura, Phase One, Zephyr and Lady Pink, as well as breakdancers including members of Magnificent Force, Dynamic Breakers and the Rock Steady Crew.

This book features many stunning and intimate images of a star-studded roll call of legendary hip-hop figures, many of whom were just relatively known at the time, and while all in their ascendency – including Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmixer DST, Jazzy Jay, Red Alert, Grandmaster Melle Mel, Kurtis Blow, Lisa Lee, the Fat Boys, Run-DMC, Beastie Boys & many more.

In 1984, Bramly returned to France where she became deeply involved in bringing Hip-Hop to Europe, continuing to photograph and document this culture. In 1987 Bramly presented and hosted Yo! MTV Raps, the first ever hip-hop show on the channel.

“During the early 80s, on Saturday nights at the Roxy in downtown Manhattan and at the Bronx River Center, acts like Run-D.M.C., Afrika Bambaataa and Fab 5 Freddy created a totally new scene in New York. French photojournalist Sophie Bramly moved to New York in 1981, when she was just 21, and began photographing it all – when no one else was paying attention”. – I-D

“All these photos speak for a time that is so special, is never coming back and changed the world. It’s pretty much this experience that changed everything for ever. What makes it amazing, is that you hear stories about superheroes that changed the world, and that was us.” – Grand Mixer D. St

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The Party
Stuart Macintyre

 The long awaited second volume in Stuart Macintyre’s definitive history of the Communist Party of Australia.

Communism was unlike any other political movement Australia has ever seen. At its peak in the 1940s, unions led by communists could call a strike that paralysed the nation, and communists influenced the highest level of government, and commanded the unswerving loyalty of thousands. It showed working men and women they could have a better life, and gave them the tools to achieve it.

Stuart Macintyre reveals how sources of strength in the party’s heyday became the undoing of the party over the following two decades. Unconditional support for the Soviet model broke down as the horrors of Stalinism were revealed. Public support for the party eroded during a series of strikes, and hostility from mainstream politics and security services took a toll. But for those who remained, the comradeship and intense political engagement are the strongest memories.

The Party is the second volume of Stuart Macintyre’s masterful history of Australian communism.

‘Rich and compelling stories of activists, idealists, militants, internationalists and anti-racists who believed they were on the side of history – until they weren’t.’ – Judith Brett, Emeritus Professor of Politics at La Trobe University

‘Stuart Macintyre is the great historian of post-war Australia – and this book is no exception. Macintyre’s attention to detail is coupled with a lively writing style that holds the reader’s attention.’ – Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Member for Sydney

I always imagined that Paradise would be a kind of library.
Jorge Luis Borges
Crow Books
Address
900 Albany Hwy, East Victoria Park
Telephone
(08) 9472 9737
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