This collection of travel stories has been gathered over twenty years of travel and writing. They cover many places and themes, but all circle around the idea of being a stranger in a strange land. As a sample, the stories involve playing street basketball in New York, going underground in Berlin, pushing a boat in Indonesia, chasing ghosts in Vienna, and going back in time on Lanzarote.
As Campbell hitchhikes, drives, trains, flies and pedals his way around the world, staying in motels, hotels and hostels with assorted oddballs and eccentrics, friendships are forged and forfeited, mistakes made, and women loved and lost along the way. Like all the best travel writing, Greetings from goes beyond place to tell a metaphorical journey, from wide-eyed youth keen to experience life’s extremes to mature adult, wiser and more worldly because of his adventures. And while digital technologies and globalisation have changed travel, the book shows that the search to learn about oneself and experience things first-hand remains a key reward for leaving the comforts of home behind.
Named a Distinguished Favourite in the 2017 Independent Press Award and shortlisted for two other awards.
TRUE BLUE TUCKER
There is. Much more. True Blue Tucker is the story of Darius and Humphrey, two friends who go looking for the real Australia, a journey that takes them to Australia's north-west, Canada's ski hills, London's damp streets and Munich's bars. Along the way, they learn about themselves, about their country and about what the world thinks of Australians. Ambitiously and misguidedly, they set about changing the stereotype, by opening an Aussie bar in Munich that tells the real history of Australia. It's out with the inflatable crocodiles and in with information about stolen Aboriginal children; out with Paul Hogan and in with Pauline Hanson. And there's convict stew on the menu, and not kangaroo burgers.
No other work of fiction tackles the topic of Australian identity, history and society quite like True Blue Tucker. What does it mean to be Australian? Read this book to find out.
Winner in the Australia/New Zealand fiction category of the IPPYs, the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards.
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How do you find a way to fit in when you don't really feel you belong? Hunter follows the stories of Eric, a teenage boy, and two men, one a Nazi from Austria and the other a Nazi from northern Germany. Eric has just moved from the country to the coastal town of Crescent Bay and has difficulty adjusting. To earn some money, he begins doing odd jobs for seniors and comes into contact with the two old men. Of Germany descent himself, Eric becomes fascinated by the men and the stories they tell. Are they Nazis? Should he contact the police? He discovers that one of the men has damning evidence against the other and he is forced to choose who to turn over to the police.
Set during the Gulf War and with a backdrop of middle class Australian coastal life, Hunter is a coming of age story which poses some interesting questions about nationality, social acceptance, conformity and middle class suburban life in Australia.
Post-war immigration had dramatic effects on Australia. The Employment of Scientific and Technical Aliens Scheme ran between 1946 and 1951. In August 1999, the Sydney Morning Herald uncovered documents detailing how a number of known Nazis and Nazi Party members had been brought to Australia under this program. Few were hunted down and none were caught and put on trial. No wonder the Jerusalem Post once called Australia "a haven for some of Hitler's worst henchmen."
Winner of the general fiction category of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and runner-up in the overall fiction category.
THE BICYCLE TEACHER
With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 went the culture and identity of millions of people. Through the story of Michael Smith, an Australian who moves to East Germany in 1981, a different side of communism is shown, a more positive side focusing on the people who live there, good people who have no ideological position. Michael marries an East Berliner and begins to raise a family. He further educates himself and becomes a teacher whereas he had been previously a mechanic. His life is fulfilling and satisfying; he succeeds in ways he could never have hoped to in Australia. The fall of the wall brings his happiness to a crashing halt, especially because he had supported the protest to reform but feared a selling-out to the West. For him, the unification is an end and not a beginning. He cannot reconcile that his happiness has been taken away from him by the West. His secret life as a Stasi (secret police) informer has him riddled with guilt. He uproots his family back to Australia, and to a much better life than the one he had left behind, but not nearly as satisfying as it had been in East Germany.
Die Rache des Lords (A Lord's Revenge)
A novella for English language learners. Find out more here.