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Thompson Walker

Here are two novels of exile, one contemporary, the other about coming to Australia in the nineteenth century. In Carol Lefevre’s Nights in the Asylum, Miri, a middle-aged actress, escapes from Sydney and her tottering marriage, and drives back to the mining town of her childhood. On the way, she picks up an escaped Afghan refugee, Aziz, and drops him off in town, where he immediately falls foul of the inhabitants and ends up on the doorstep of Miri’s family home, uninhabited while her aunt is in hospital. The house becomes asylum for more than one outcast: Zett, the abused wife of the local cop, has already found herself there, baby in tow.

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The Park Bench by Henry von Doussa

April 2006, no. 280

To prove the fairyness of tales, this world’s relationships start at ‘Happily’ and only then progress to their trials. The Park Bench tells what happens when hope of the ‘ever after’ fades into that space bordered by numb disappointment and the aggressive need to regain sensation. In gay fiction, that place is no man’s land.

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The Factory by Paddy O’Reilly & Cusp by Josephine Wilson

March 2006, no. 279

While the imminent demise of the Australian novel continues to be predicted in the pages of the nation’s broadsheets, a curious thing is happening: two Australian publishing houses are creating new fiction lists. Australian Scholarly Publishing will present its fiction titles under the imprint Thompson Walker, and the University of Western Australia Press has come up with a New Writing series to showcase work from the postgraduate creative writing programmes of Australian universities.

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