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When we sought readers’ nominations for the ABR Favourite Australian Novel of any era or genre, we anticipated goodly interest in the poll, partly because we know you are a well-read and passionate bunch, but also because Oxford University Press and Penguin had offered us a couple of outstanding prizes to complement our three-year subscription to the magazine.

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Back in April, when Peter Rose asked me to write an irregular column for ABR on the campaigns that the Australian Society of Authors runs on behalf of writers, it seemed perfectly clear what the subject of my first column should be. At that time, after years of hints and veiled threats, the Government had finally revealed its hand and introduced a Bill into Federal Parliament to allow the parallel importation of books. The Government wanted this legislation passed before the end of the financial year – it was a priority item.

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