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Jo Case

The House at Number 10 by Dorothy Johnston

May 2006, no. 281

Canberra-based Dorothy Johnston is an accomplished writer who has twice been short-listed for the Miles Franklin Award. Her talent for spare, casually evocative prose and slyly complex characters shines through in this surprisingly elegant novel about a single mother who turns to prostitution to earn a living.

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Debates about the balance between life and work are currently running hot in the media, government and the publishing world. Don Edgar, foundation director of the Australian Institute of Family Studies, delivers a passionately argued and engagingly written analysis of the various issues currently affecting work culture and the family. He focuses on women juggling motherhood and work, the masculine workplace culture that considers family issues none of its concern, future directions for children’s learning and development, the challenges posed by our ageing population and the continuing erosion of traditional full-time work.

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Phil Sparrow lived and worked as a UN aid worker in pre-9/11 Afghanistan for nearly three years. Evacuated when the country was attacked by the US, he returned to Australia and worked as an interpreter for Afghan refugees in Australia. In this book, Sparrow writes about his experiences in Afghanistan and Australia, and his reading of the Australian government’s response to refugees, particularly those from Afghanistan.

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