The Commandant, with an introduction by Carmen Callil, is an unforgettable tale of power, duty and humanity.
'Quietly astonishing: enthrals, entertains and gratifies on every level.' Helen Garner
Jessica Anderson was born in Gayndah, Queensland, in 1916. Anderson wrote stories and adapted novels for radio before she published her first novel, An Ordinary Lunacy, in 1963. In 1978, she won the Miles Franklin Literary Award for Tirra Lirra by the River, and again in 1980 for The Impersonators, which also won the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction. In 1987 her story collection, Stories from the Warm Zone, won the Age Book of the Year award.
Carmen Callil founded Virago Press in 1972 and later became managing director of Chatto & Windus and the Hogarth Press. Since 1995 she has worked as a writer and critic. She is the author of Bad Faith: A Forgotten History of Family and Fatherland, and co-author, with Colm Toibin, of The Modern Library: The 200 Best Novels in English since 1950.
William Buckley was transported to Australia in 1801. He escaped and lived as an Aborigine for thirty-one years. In this visionary novel, Alan Garner is true to William the Cheshire bricklayer and William the Aboriginal spiritual leader, as William is true to his fate. The result is extraordinary.
"You will hardly read a more fascinating account of a convict's voyage to Australia" Australian Book Review
Thirteen-year-old Barnaby Fletch is a bag-and-bones orphan in London in the late 1700s.
Barnaby lives on his wits and ill-gotten gains, on streets seething with the press of the throng and shadowed by sinister figures. Life is a precarious business.
When he hears of a paradise on the other side of the world- a place called Botany Bay - he decides to commit a crime and get himself transported to a new life, a better life.
To succeed, he must survive the trials of Newgate Prison, the stinking hull of a prison ship and the unknown terrors of a journey across the world.
And Botany Bay is far from the paradise Barnaby has imagined. When his past and present suddenly collide, he is soon fleeing for his life - once again.
This beautiful, illuminating tale of hope and courage is based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov—an unforgettable love story in the midst of atrocity.
“The Tattooist of Auschwitz is an extraordinary document, a story about the extremes of human behavior existing side by side: calculated brutality alongside impulsive and selfless acts of love. I find it hard to imagine anyone who would not be drawn in, confronted and moved. I would recommend it unreservedly to anyone, whether they’d read a hundred Holocaust stories or none.”—Graeme Simsion, internationally-bestselling author of The Rosie Project
In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.
Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.
One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.
A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov's experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions.