Born and raised in a poor, working-class family in Toronto, Jack Spayd is the son of an unhappy marriage. After being taken under the wing of "Miss Frostbite", the owner of a local jazz club, Jack becomes a gifted musician, playing piano and harmonica. Fame and the allure of gambling takes him to Vegas, and prospects of fortune take him to the Belgian Congo, where he's heard it's possible to earn big money working in the most dangerous parts of the local copper mines.
It's the 1960s and the world of advertising is coming alive - and it's an exciting world to be part of. Simon Wong, a Chinese-Australian and promising young advertising executive, is sent to Singapore to establish an office. He finds himself thrust into an environment that is at once strangely familiar and profoundly different; one where the rules that govern behaviour - both in business and in personal life - differ wildly from what he is used to. And where all is not what it appears to be.
Brutally kidnapped and separated in childhood, Tommo and Hawk are reunited at the age of 15 in Hobart Town. Together, they escape their troubled pasts and set off on a journey into manhood. From whale hunting in the Pacific to the Maori wars of New Zealand, from the Rocks in Sydney to the miners' riots at the goldfields, Tommo and Hawk must learn each other's strengths and weaknesses in order to survive.
Born in a South Africa divided by racism and hatred, this one small boy will come to lead all the tribes of Africa. Through enduring friendships with Hymie and Gideon, Peekay gains the strength he needs to win out. And in a final conflict with his childhood enemy, the Judge, Peekay will fight to the death for justice.
Always leave a little salt on the bread. Ikey Solomon's favorite saying is also his way of doing business, and in the business of thieving he's very successful indeed. Ikey's partner in crime is his mistress, the forthright Mary Abacus, until misfortune befalls them. They are parted and each must make the harsh journey from thriving nineteenth century London to the convict settlement of Van Diemen's Land.
From the author of The Power of One comes an inspiring human drama of three lives brought together and changed forever by the extraordinary events of recent history. Inspired by real events, Bryce Courtenay's new novel tells the story of three people from vastly differing backgrounds. All they have in common is a tough beginning in life.
Nicholas Duncan is a semi-retired shipping magnate who resides in idyllic Beautiful Bay in Indonesia, where he is known as the old patriarch of the islands. He is grieving the loss of his beautiful Eurasian wife, Anna, and is suffering for the first time from disturbing flashbacks to WWII, the scene of their first meeting and early love. His other wartime lover is the striking Marg Hamilton, a powerful and influential political player in Australia who has remained close to Nick.
Tandia is a child of all Africa: half Indian, half African, beautiful and intelligent, she is only 16 when she is first brutalized by the police. Her fear of the white man leads her to join the black resistance movement. With her in the fight for justice is the one white man Tandia can trust, the welterweight champion of the world, Peekay. Now he must fight their common enemy in order to save both their lives.
Jessica is based on the inspiring true story of a young girl's fight for justice against tremendous odds. A tomboy, Jessica is the pride of her father, as they work together on the struggling family farm. One quiet day, the peace of the bush is devastated by a terrible murder. Only Jessica is able to save the killer from the lynch mob: but will justice prevail in the courts? Nine months later, a baby is born...with Jessica determined to guard the secret of the father's identity.
The Persimmon Tree opens in Indonesia in 1942 on the cusp of Japanese invasion and the evacuation of Batavia (Jakarta) by the Dutch. Seventeen-year-old Nicholas Duncan is on holiday there, in pursuit of an exotic butterfly known as the Magpie Crow. It's an uncertain, dangerous time to be in Indonesia, and Nick's options of getting out are fast dwindling. Amidst the fear and chaos he falls in love with Anna, the beautiful daughter of a Dutch acquaintance, and she nicknames him 'Mr Butterfly'.
The four fires in this story are passion, religion, warfare, and fire itself. While there are many more fires that drive the human spirit, love being perhaps the brightest flame of all, it is these four that have moulded us most as Australian people. The four fires give us our sense of place and, for better or for worse, shape our national character.
Here is the story of two families, branches of the Solomons, transported to an alien land. Both branches eventually grow rich and powerful. But through three generations, the families never, for one moment, relinquish their hatred for each other. This novel is also the story of Australia, from its beginnings to its coming of age as a nation.
This is Bryce Courtenay's moving tribute to his son, Damon, a hemophiliac who died from medically acquired AIDS on April 1, 1991, at the age of 24.
April Fool's Day is controversial, painful and heartbreaking, yet has a gentle humor. It is also life-affirming, and, above all, a testimony to the incredible regenerative strength of love: how when we confront our worst, we can become our best. This tragic yet uplifting story will change the way you think.
At just 16 years Danny Dunn has everything going for him: brains, looks, sporting aptitude - and luck with the ladies. His mother steers him towards a university education, but with just six months of his degree to go, he signs up for the AIF, driven by a desire to serve his country and plain wanderlust. Danny serves in South-east Asia, spends three and a half years as a POW, and returns a broken man, embittered and facially disfigured. He is scared and overwhelmed by the need to sort himself out, to find out who the hell he is....
The story of a drunk, a boy, and a cat. Billy O'Shannessy, once a prominent barrister, is now on the street where he sleeps on a bench outside the State Library. Above him on the window sill rests a bronze statue of Matthew Flinders' cat, Trim. Ryan is a 10-year-old, a near-street kid heading for the usual trouble. The two form an unlikely bond.
Born in a South Africa divided by racism and hatred, little six-year-old Peekay learns that small can beat big. Armed with this knowledge, he resolves to take on the injustices of his country, and sets his heart on becoming the welterweight champion of the world. Peekay starts to take boxing lessons, makes new friends, collects cacti, and plays the piano. Above all, he learns to think with his head and then with his heart. Peekay discovers that nothing can defeat the determination to be true to yourself: This is the power of one.
From master storyteller Bryce Courtenay comes a colorful, lusty story set in the 13th century, an epic tale of a Europe torn by religious intolerance. The story centers around Sylvia Honeyeater, who sings like an angel and can literally charm the birds from the trees. The narrative also features the Pied Piper of Hamelin, Francis of Assisi, the Muslim Sultan and his harem, and the fervor that becomes the Children's Crusade and then, later, the Crusades.
Mrs. Moses is a small woman with a big heart and enormous courage. The only survivor of a Cossack raid on her village, she takes with her a big cast-iron frying pan, so heavy that she can only sling it over her back. Yet this is no ordinary frying pan, it's The Family Frying Pan, blessed with a Russian soul.
Each of us has a place to return to in our minds, a place of clarity and peace, a place to think, to create, to dream. For Bryce Courtenay this place was a waterhole in Africa where he used to escape to as a boy, in search of solitude. One evening, while lingering there, he witnessed the tallest of the great beasts drinking from the waterhole in the moonlight, and was spellbound. Ever since, he drew inspiration from this moment.
Thommo returns from Vietnam to an Australia that regards him as a mercenary guilty of war crimes. He begins to develop all kinds of physical and mental problems, and thinks it must only be him until he finds he is not alone. Ten mates, all who remain of his platoon who fought and died in the Battle of Long Tan, are affected the same way.