Description : Meet Edith Campbell Berry, the woman all Australian women would like to be. On a train from Paris to Geneva, Edith Campbell Berry meets Major Ambrose Westwood in the dining car, makes his acquaintance over a lunch of six courses, and allows him to kiss her passionately.Their early intimacy binds them together once they reach Geneva and their posts at the newly created League of Nations. There, a heady idealism prevails over Edith and her young colleagues, and nothing seems beyond their grasp, certainly not world peace. The exuberance of the times carries over into Geneva nights: Edith is drawn into a dark and glamorous underworld where, coaxed by Ambrose, she becomes more and more sexually adventurous. Reading Grand Days is a rare experience: it is vivid and wise, full of shocks of recognition and revelation. The final effect of the book is intoxicating and unplaceably original.
Description : Winner of the Queensland Literary Award. Shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award and the Barbara Jefferis Prize. It is 1950, the League of Nations has collapsed and the newly formed United Nations has rejected all those who worked and fought for the League. Edith Campbell Berry, who joined the League in Geneva before the war, is out of a job, her vision shattered. With her sexually unconventional husband, Ambrose, she comes back to Australia to live in Canberra. Edith now has ambitions to become Australia's first female ambassador, but while she waits for a Call from On High, she finds herself caught up in the planning of the national capital and the dream that it should be 'a city like no other'. When her communist brother, Frederick, turns up out of the blue after many years of absence, she becomes concerned that he may jeopardise her chances of becoming a diplomat. It is not a safe time to be a communist in Australia or to be related to one, but she refuses to be cowed by the anti-communist sentiment sweeping the country. It is also not a safe time or place to be 'a wife with a lavender husband'. After pursuing the Bloomsbury life for many years, Edith finds herself fearful of being exposed. Unexpectedly, in mid-life she also realises that she yearns for children. When she meets a man who could offer not only security but a ready-made family, she consults the Book of Crossroads and the answer changes the course of her life. Intelligent, poignant and absorbing, Cold Light is a remarkable stand-alone novel, which can also be read as a companion to the earlier Edith novels Grand Days and Dark Palace.
Description : Entertaining and always surprising stories from Frank Moorhouse. 'I found my way to the seat in the empty auditorium . . . I wondered who would sit with me. A bit like school days . . . Throughout the auditorium people are connecting, making their alliance, for personal security, sexual possibility, eating-drinking alliances, affirmations that we do not sit alone in the world. But there are also those who come alone, wear their name tag and seem to know no one and to meet no one. A few people come to talk with me. No one sits with me.' As the conference participants settle in with their name tags and satchels, as they sort out amongst themselves their seating arrangements and gently jostle for positions at the bar bistro, as they brace themselves for the first confrontation between opposing factions, award-winning writer Frank Moorhouse wryly observes the subtle shifts in their allegiances and pretensions. Using this neat microcosmic device to fullest advantage, Moorhouse shrewdly explores the limitations of Australian intellectual life and, as in The Americans, Baby and The Electrical Experience, displays his brilliant grasp of social interplay.
Description : Frank Moohouse Is One Of The Most Adroit Writers Of Short Fiction In Australia. He Joined The Main Stream Of Writers In Early 1970S. He Had His Stories Published In Journals Like Southerly, Westerly, Meanjin And Overland From 1957 Onwards. The Present Study Analyzes His Collections Of Stories Written Between 1969 And 1988, It Is Marked With Keen Insights, Systematic Organisation Of Material And Wide Range Of Background Reading. Moorhouseis A Social Chronicler Of Australian Society, Has Established A New School Of Short Story As Reaction To Lawsonian School. The Stories Have Their Setting In The Inner Sub Urban Alternative Society Of Sydney.
Description : Winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award. Five years have passed since Edith Campbell Berry's triumphant arrival at the League of Nations in Geneva, determined to right the wrongs of the world. The idealism of those early Grand Days has been eroded by a sense foreboding as the world moves ever closer to another war. Edith's life too, has changed: her marriage and her work are no longer the anchors in her life - she is restless, unsure, feeling the weight of history upon her and her world. As her certainties crumble, Edith is once again joined by Ambrose Westwood, her old friend and lover. Their reunion is joyful, and her old anxiety about their unconventional relationship is replaced by a feeling that all things are possible - at least in her private life. But World War II advances inexorably, and Edith, Ambrose and their fellow officers must come to terms with the knowledge that their best efforts - and those of the well-meaning world - are simply useless against the forces of the time. Moving, wise and utterly engrossing, this is a profound and enriching novel. Grand Days and Dark Palace confirm Frank Moorhouse as one of our greatest writers - a master of tone and timing, an elegant and exuberant stylist, and an unerring chronicler of the human spirit.
Description : Since Henry Lawson wrote his story 'The Drover's Wife' in 1892, Australian writers, painters, performers and photographers have created a wonderful tradition of drover's wife works, stories and images. The Russell Drysdale painting from 1945 extended the mythology and it, too, has become an Australian icon. Other versions of the Lawson story have been written by Murray Bail, Barbara Jefferis, Mandy Sayer, David Ireland, Madeleine Watts and others, up to the present, including Leah Purcell's play and Ryan O'Neill's graphic novel. In essays and commentary, Frank Moorhouse examines our ongoing fascination with this story and has collected some of the best pieces of writing on the subject. This remarkable, gorgeous book is, he writes, 'a monument to the drovers' wives'.
Description : A book of comic writing that incisively dissects our contemporary new sensitivities. How our Hero came to be a cultural ambassador in France fell into strange company; how he encountered the Duc and his entourage; how Europe responded to his Australian ways; how refinement eluded him; how the queen of commas almost brought him down by tugging his rope; how he became an honoured member of the Montaigne Clinic for civilised disorders; and how he began to discover the good life and how to get it when disaster struck. As Australia turns to Asia, Moorhouse's hero is permitted one last look at Europe. Loose Living is his dispatches home, detailing his arrival in the wondrously civilised world of France; his glittering life at the chateau with the Duc; his fall into disgrace at the Ecole des Beaux Arts Perdus; and his appointment as Gregarious Fellow at the Montaigne Clinic for Civilised disorders, deep in the Pyrenees. Incorporating Cuisine Cruelle compiled by Chef Bilson and the Duc.
Description : A timeless collection of stories exploring physical and psychological boundaries, some tentatively and others with vigour. In The Americans, Baby the milieu is a Sydney under-40 population who, hoping that being earnest or outrageous will make them feel real, are left saturated with anxiety instead. An inherent resistance to American cultural intrusions and the risks that those from a great powerful land such as the US take when they meddle in another culture (they can be snared, seduced, destroyed) are explored with traditional Moorhouse flair and wit. These stories are timeless in their concerns, and explore ideology, idealism, conflict, relationships and sex.
Description : ASIO has kept a file on Frank Moorhouse since he was seventeen. Now Frank has decided it is time to report on ASIO. This year ASIO has extended its surveillance powers, made the issuing of warrants easier and limited the freedom of journalists. At a time when the government has raised the terrorist alert level to 'high' we are facing the question of what degree of terrorist threat we are prepared to endure so as to retain freedoms of expression and what might loosely be called the 'traditional privacies'. The paradox is an old one: is a secret agency needed for our safety as a democracy? If so, how does a democracy manage a secret agency without losing control of it? What constitutes an offence against national security? And what are we to make of WikiLeaks and socially conscious hackers and whistleblowers? Do we need a renewal of the bargain between the citizen and the secret agencies, as unreliable as it may be, as we all go into the glare and the maze of controlled and uncontrollable data collection and its consequences?We are entering a new era, where nothing can be assumed to be private, especially at the governmental level. More than ever before, our future is unforeseeable, but if in the unforeseeable we see a glimmer of dangerous things, perhaps we should remember that positive things can also be unforeseeable.
Description : What could he tell her now, now that he was forty and she was no longer 17? He is a failed writer turned diplomat, an anarchist learning the value of discipline. He moves in a world which takes him from the Australian wilderness to the conference rooms of Vienna and Geneva; from the whore-house to warzone he feels the pull of the genetic spiral of his ancestry. At the sharp axis of his mid-life he scans the memorabilia of his feelings in the hope of giving answers. In his first full-length novel Moorhouse presents a roving, dissatisfied man entering middle age in a house-of-mirrors portrait: fragmentary and multifaceted. Sean, a hard-drinking, hard-living Australian, has just turned 40; the other half of the title refers to a precocious schoolgirl who is one of his many liaisons. The most important of the other women who drift into and out of his life include his ex-wife Robyn, now unflinching in the face of cancer; Belle, Sean's fellow sexual adventurer; and Edith Campbell Berry, an aging iconoclast whom Sean encounters in Vienna and Israel. Forty-Seventeen is told with characteristic Moorhouse style - candid, wryly insightful and morbidly comic - and, in this resonant and acclaimed book achieves a new virtuosity.