A heartbreaking story of love and loss set against the backdrop of a Japanese internment camp in Victoria during WW2.
Arthur Wheeler is haunted by his infatuation with a Japanese youth he encountered in the enemy alien camp where he worked as a guard during WW2. Abandoning his wife and baby son, Arthur sets out on a doomed mission to rescue his lover from forced deportation back to Japan, a country in ruins.
Thus begins the secret history of a soldier at war with his own sexuality and dangerously at odds with the racism that underpins the crumbling British Empire.
Four decades later Arthur is still obsessed with the traumatic events of his youth. He proposes a last reunion with his lost lover, in the hope of laying his ghosts to rest, but this mission too seems doomed to failure.
Like Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence and Snow Falling On Cedars, My Beautiful Enemy explores questions of desire and redemption against the background of a savage racial war. In this context, Arthur's private battles against his own nature, and against the conventions of his time, can only end in heartache.
Cory Taylor is an award-winning screenwriter who has also published short fiction and children's books. Her first novel, Me and Mr Booker, won the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Pacific Region). She lives in Brisbane.
'Taylor has crafted her novel superbly. The pace is measured, and the restraint, particularly in the later stages of the book, lends My Beautiful Enemy its emotional punch...A moving and accomplished novel that explores fascinating untold lives from our past.' Sydney Morning Herald/Age/Canberra Times
'Black humour is cunningly tangled with moments of sheer emotional devastation; Taylor crafts sentences of such sharpness and insight that I was forced to pause at moments to bask in the prose. My Beautiful Enemy is a heartfelt and beautifully written novel about love and war for readers of exquisitely crafted literary fiction.' Australian Bookseller and Publisher
'An almost unbearably beautiful story about longing and secret lives in which grief and joy turn out to be much the same thing.' Robert Dessaix
'Longing, desire, fear, confusion and self-delusion are all expressed with finesse and subtlety in a distinctive, memorable voice and assured, elegant prose.' Caroline Baum, Booktopia
'This is a beautifully told story of love, longing and the war within.' The Hoopla
‘Reminiscent of a Kazuo Ishiguro novel...a love story that is tender and original.' Readings Monthly
When Jack Kelly discovers that his only daughter has fallen into the hands of the enemy, he will stop at nothing to save her. Even if it means risking the life of his only son, Lukas. No one knows Papua the way they do; they may be Ilsa's only hope but time is running out.
Meanwhile, Major Karl Mann is sent on a secret mission to Indo China that will see him embroiled in Ilsa's rescue mission in ways he could never have imagined.
This sweeping saga continues the story of the Kellys and Manns, following Peter Watt's much-loved characters as they fight to survive one of the most devastating conflicts in history - the war on Australia's backdoor step.
‘Australian son of both “Mother England” and “Father Cathay”, Billy Sing is a Gallipoli hero and a modern killer, beloved and abandoned, admirable and deluded, lost and found. In his most concentrated, accessible and humane novel yet, Ouyang Yu brings a figure from remote history fully alive with intensity and tragic depth, lets us hear his voice and feel his pain. Ouyang restores Billy Sing to an Australian history that has threatened to erase him, but leaves us fundamentally unsettled about just what that history has been and might be. This book is terrific, it moved me to tears.’ - Nicholas Birns, author of Contemporary Australian Literature: A World Not Yet Dead