Alfred’s War is a powerful story that unmasks the lack of recognition given to Australian Indigenous servicemen who returned from the WWI battlelines.
Alfred was just a young man when he was injured and shipped home from France. Neither honoured as a returned soldier or offered government support afforded to non-Indigenous servicemen, Alfred took up a solitary life walking the back roads billy tied to his swag, finding work where he could.
Alfred was a forgotten soldier. Although he had fought bravely in the Great War, as an Aboriginal man he wasn’t classed as a citizen of his own country.
Yet Alfred always remembered his friends in the trenches and the mateship they had shared. Sometimes he could still hear the never-ending gunfire in his head and the whispers of diggers praying. Every year on ANZAC Day, Alfred walked to the nearest town, where he would quietly stand behind the people gathered and pay homage to his fallen mates. Rachel Bin Salleh’s poignant narrative opens our hearts to the sacrifice and contribution that Indigenous people have made to Australias war efforts, the true extent of which is only now being revealed.
In Danger: A Memoir of Family and Hope
When Josepha Dietrich was 21, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Four years after her mother’s death, the disease reared up in Josie’s own cells, this time more aggressively. She was 35, and her high-needs baby son was not yet one. As the daughter of a woman who had sought out alternatives to conventional medicine, Josie used her own knowledge and her mother’s experience to find solutions for herself. Later she also used this experience to help her son rise up out of his profoundly autistic state. In Danger is Josie’s journey through life with breast cancer from inside the experience, capturing her energy and force-of-nature personality. She reflects on the literary works that inspired her, from cancer literature to other medical memoirs, works that helped her to explore disease and the human condition, and shed light on its darker aspects. At its heart, this moving memoir delves deep into how it feels when everything you love is in danger.
You wake up alone after an emergency caesarean, desperate to see your child. And when you are shown the small infant in the nursery, a terrible thought takes root- this baby is not your baby. No one believes you. Not the nurses, your father or even your own husband.
They say you’re confused and delusional. Dangerous. But you’re a doctor – you know how easily mistakes can be made. It’s up to you to find your real child, your miracle baby, before it’s too late. With everyone against you, is it safe to trust your instincts? Or are memories from your past clouding your judgement? This can’t all be in your head . . . can it?
The Earth Does Not Get Fat
She looked like someone who has had a hard life and no money to take care of herself, like a broken woman at the end of the world, dead on her feet, skin slapped over her bones like white paint, old white paint, slightly yellow.
Her shoulders and collarbones were sticking out of her skin like like nothing. There is nothing I know that is as awful as her bones poking out of her dirty yellow chicken-skin.
Chelsea doesn’t attend school much any more. She is carer for her mother who is sinking further into depression after a trauma, and her Grandad who has slipped into full-blown dementia.
Her father is long gone; others are shadowy memories, intangible like dreams. Barely known ghosts make for strange company. Then a parcel arrives, and in it are questions about her mother and her past self, their shared histories, and the people and place from which they’ve run. The Earth Does Not Get Fat is a powerful and gut-wrenching debut about intense suffering and love fierce, searing love.
The Worry Front: Short Fiction Collection
Through a multitude of distinct voices, Gildfind’s startling tales explore the absurd, macabre, surreal and too-real whilst wrestling with the irrevocable acts, immutable facts, and relentless uncertainties that lie at the dark heart of every life.