What begins as just a fling becomes a dazzling six-year affair. The two travel between New York, Berlin and Melbourne, struggling with bureaucracy in their quest to gain Juan residency in Australia, then with the disease taking the lives of gay men around the globe. To the end, Juan—‘an exotic bird, the only one of his kind’ in Melbourne—is captivating, witty, headstrong.
First published in 1993, not long before John Foster’s death, Take Me to Paris, Johnny is brilliant and unflinching, at once controlled and impassioned: a love story told with humour and unerring skill. This edition includes an introduction by Peter Craven and an expanded biographical portrait of the author by John Rickard.
John Foster was born in Melbourne in 1944. He studied at the University of Melbourne, then in Germany and the United Kingdom. In 1971 he returned to the University of Melbourne, where for many years he lectured in the Department of History. He edited the collections Community of Fate: Memoirs of German Jews in Melbourne (1986) and Victorian Picturesque: The Colonial Gardens of William Sangster (1989). Take Me to Paris, Johnny was Foster’s tribute to his lover, Juan Céspedes, a Cuban dancer who died of AIDS in 1987. The memoir was published in 1993 and shortlisted for the Age Book of the Year award; within a year, John Foster himself was dead.
‘[A] literary masterpiece...Unparalleled in Australian letters...Makes most fiction, here or elsewhere, look paltry by comparison.’ Peter Craven, from the Introduction
‘A superbly crafted memoir...[A] subtle balance of formality and intimacy, of rationality and passion.’ John Rickard, from the Afterword
‘Brilliantly accomplished use of language...Few other books documenting this illness rumble and resonate with such sustained power.’ Robert Dessaix
‘[Take Me to Paris, Johnny] reminds us of the complexity of relationships...of the simultaneous strength and fragility of love.’ Denis Altman
‘A remarkable, beautifully written memoir that captures and preserves the jittery zeitgeist among active gay men moving around the globe in the early ’80s.’ Gail Bell, Monthly
‘Finely written...Foster deftly recounted his “cross-colour, cross-class” relationship, and brought his lover back to life on the page.’ Steve Dow, Age
North Korea’s political prison camps have existed twice as long as Stalin’s Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. No one born and raised in these camps is known to have escaped. No one, that is, except Shin Dong-hyuk.
In Escape From Camp 14, Blaine Harden unlocks the secrets of the world’s most repressive totalitarian state through the story of Shin’s shocking imprisonment and his astounding getaway. Shin knew nothing of civilized existence—he saw his mother as a competitor for food, guards raised him to be a snitch, and he witnessed the execution of his mother and brother.
The late “Dear Leader” Kim Jong Il was recognized throughout the world, but his country remains sealed as his third son and chosen heir, Kim Jong Eun, consolidates power. Few foreigners are allowed in, and few North Koreans are able to leave. North Korea is hungry, bankrupt, and armed with nuclear weapons. It is also a human rights catastrophe. Between 150,000 and 200,000 people work as slaves in its political prison camps. These camps are clearly visible in satellite photographs, yet North Korea’s government denies they exist.
Harden’s harrowing narrative exposes this hidden dystopia, focusing on an extraordinary young man who came of age inside the highest security prison in the highest security state. Escape from Camp 14 offers an unequalled inside account of one of the world’s darkest nations. It is a tale of endurance and courage, survival and hope.