Born in Australia in 1949, author Nadia Wheatley grew up with a sense of the mystery of her parents’ marriage. Caught in the crossfire between an independent woman and a controlling man, the child became a player in the deadly game. Was she her mother’s daughter, or her father’s creature?
After her mother’s death, the ten-year-old began writing down the stories her mother had told her—of a Cinderella-like childhood, followed by an escape into a career as an army nurse in Palestine and Greece, and as an aid-worker in the refugee camps of post-war Germany. Some fifty years later, the finished memoir is not only a loving tribute but an investigation of the bewildering processes of memory itself.
Nadia Wheatley is an Australian writer whose publications range from biography and history to fiction and picture books. Her biography The Life and Myth of Charmian Clift was the Age Book of the Year, Non-fiction, and is the only biography to have won the Australian History Prize, NSW Premier's History Awards.
‘One of the greatest Australian biographies...a work which never confuses itself with fiction but which has the same readability and flair and command of tempo. It’s a hell of a story.’ Peter Craven, Sydney Morning Herald on The Life and Myth of Charmian Clift.
‘Outstanding...a rare feat in Australian literary biography.’ Weekend Australian on The Life and Myth of Charmian Clift
‘An important addition to the history of Australian social life and a vivid insight into how individual people can be controlled by repressive social attitudes. Wheatley reminds us of the difference between how family life is supposed to be and how it is actually experienced.’ Inside Story
‘In a moving and beautifully written memoir, Wheatley brings to life her mother’s adventures...My bet is that this fascinating book will prove to be an award-winner. Highly recommended.’ Courier-Mail
‘[Her] Mother’s Daughter is one of the most devastating examples of gaslighting that I have ever read. It is not only a beautiful rendering of an “ordinary” life, it is also a significant social history of wartime Europe and post-war Australia.’ Australian
‘Her Mother's Daughter is a great read for two reasons. Firstly, it provides a thoughtful, authentic - sometimes exciting, sometimes disturbing - social history of the times. And secondly, with Wheatley's ability to write engaging narratives, it makes for engrossing, moving, provocative reading. I do recommend it.’ Whispering Gums
When he was just six, his mother was arrested for Rassenschande and imprisoned by the Nazis. Young Thomas would not see her again until he was almost thirty. He did not know who his father was, and the man who raised him was cold and distant. His older half-sister grew up to be an unkind, egotistical person who betrayed him and his beloved wife, Lisa.
He was born in Berlin in 1931. He was expelled from two German primary schools because of his stepfathers Jewish surname. From age seven, he was raised by two women in the Russian immigrant community of Harbin, China, where he finished a Russian high school at the top of his class. Having spent his formative years there and suspecting that his biological father was either Russian or Polish, Toren considers himself Russian.
This all seemed perfectly normal to the young man. Torens explanation: children accept everything as normal. Only in hindsight, after acquiring some life experience and wisdom, are we able to understand and analyse our childhood.
To escape the Soviet bloc, he managed to travel to Israel, where he married his lifelong love, Lisa. In these transitions, a bit of stability emerged. Toren had a long, successful career as a qualified mechanicalengineer and brilliant inventor. Now retired, Toren felt the urge to record the stories of his unusual life, during which he has experienced four cultures and observed many more. Hes called Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Australia home at various times of his life. These intercontinental movements were not by choice; they were imposed as a result of political upheavals of the twentieth century.
Toren knows that life was not meant to be easy. Wishing and hoping is not enough. Determination and perseverance are essential. A bit of luck also helps. Life has taught Toren an important lesson. He says: We should learn to fully appreciate each one of our many blessings, which we normally take for granted. We tend to fully appreciate our blessings only in retrospect, after we have lost them!
Ken Done has an extraordinary place in the hearts of Australians - we've all worn or decorated our homes with his artwork. His vivid, optimistic images are part of our collective consciousness and have helped define us to the world. But what do we know about the man behind the brush?
A dreamy country kid-turned-art student, Ken took off overseas for a Mad Men-esque advertising career before an epiphany at a Matisse exhibition showed him that painting was where his heart truly lay. But a return to Sydney to paint saw his art overtaken by his entrepreneurial instincts as 'Ken Done' became a sought-after global brand.
However there's more to Ken Done's story than just commercial success: the sudden loss of the profits from a lifetime's hard work and a resultant stressful court case was closely followed by a shock cancer diagnosis. It was a dark time, but the powerful paintings that came out of this bleak period have brought him long-overdue acclaim as one of our great artists.
From his studio on sparkling Sydney Harbour to the ochre tints of the outback or the luminous palette of tropical waters, Ken's artist's eye is ever drawn to beauty and colour. But through good times and bad, what has sustained him are the simple pleasures of life: family, home and, of course, painting.
On October 3, 2005, Kapacziewski and his soldiers were coming to the end of their tour in Northern Iraq when their convoy was attacked by enemy fighters. A grenade fell through the gunner's hatch and exploded, shattering Kapacziewski's right leg below the knee, damaging his right hip, and severing a nerve and artery in his right arm.
He endured more than forty surgeries, but his right leg still wasn't healing as he had hoped, so in March 2007, Kapacziewski chose to have it amputated with one goal in mind: to return to the line and serve alongside his fellow Rangers. One year after his surgery, Kapacziewski accomplished his goal: he was put back on the line, as a squad leader of his Army Ranger Regiment.
On April 19, 2010, during his ninth combat deployment (and fifth after losing his leg), Kapacziewski's patrol ran into an ambush outside a village in eastern Afghanistan. After a fellow Ranger fell to withering enemy fire, shot through the belly, Sergeant Kap and another soldier dragged him seventy-five yards to safety and administered first aid that saved his life while heavy machineguns tried to kill them. His actions earned him an Army Commendation Medal with "V" for Valor. He had previously been awarded a Bronze Star for Valor—and a total of three Purple Hearts for combat wounds.
Back in the Fight is an inspiring and thrilling tale readers will never forget.