Literary Oceania

Destinations

Gertrude and Alice Book Shop, Sydney NSW, Australia
Australia
Jo Cahill

Gertrude and Alice bookstore, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Named for the famed Paris-based expat authors, Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas, the Gertrude & Alice bookshop in Sydney’s Bondi suburb provides a literary twist to the predominantly surf- and beach-focused shopping area. Combining a love of food and a love of the written word, Gertrude & Alice is home to literary tens of thousands of new and used books, covering walls, floors and tables, and somewhere in between there’s a café serving breakfast and lunch, and all kinds of tea and coffee. Keep an eye out for the G&A chai tea, their signature drink.

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Mary Poppins statue, Maryborough, Queensland, Australia
Australia
Jo Cahill

Mary Poppins statue, Maryborough, Queensland, Australia

Standing 5’ tall and weighing only 100kg, this unassuming bronze statue of Mary Poppins, the world’s most famous nanny, keeps an eye on the comings and goings in Kent Street and Richmond Lane, in Maryborough (Queensland, Australia). With her umbrella pointed skyward, she looks ready to take off at any moment, but with tourists constantly popping by to take photographs with her, she has been stuck in once place since being commissioned in 2005.

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Katherine Mansfield House and Garden, Wellington, New Zealand
New Zealand
Jo Cahill

Katherine Mansfield House & Garden, Wellington, New Zealand

New Zealand’s most internationally acclaimed writer, Katherine Mansfield Beauchamp (who wrote under the name Katherine Mansfield), was born in the nation’s capital, Wellington, in October 1888. Stifled by the colonial world in which she grew up, Mansfield set sail for Europe at the age of 19, but following her younger brother, Leslie’s death in World War I, it was to their shared past that her thoughts returned, and her most well-known short stories, including The Garden Party, The Doll’s House and Prelude, were reminiscences of her childhood homes.

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Hanging Rock, Australia
Australia
Jo Cahill

Hanging Rock, Victoria, Australia

Hanging Rock, also – more correctly – known as Mount Diogenes, is most well known as the setting for the 1967 novel, Picnic at Hanging Rock, and the 1975 derivative film. The mystery story details a Valentine’s Day picnic in 1900, attended by staff and students of the fictional Appleyard College (in the real nearby town of Woodend). During the day, four of the girls walk off into the bush, but only one returns, traumatised.

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Book Reviews

The Crying Place by Lia Hills
Australia
Jo Cahill

Review: The Crying Place – Lia Hills

There is an element of risk in being a white, New Zealand-born woman, writing about men’s experience of grief in remote Australian Aboriginal communities, but that is exactly what Lia Hills has done in her novel, The Crying Place (Allen & Unwin). When Saul (a self-described ‘whitefella’) hears about his friend, Jed’s, death by suicide, he leaves his apartment in Sydney and heads into the desert heartland of the country, in search of answers. Saul knows only that, in the months prior to his death, Jed had been living in a remote Pitjantjatjara community out beyond Uluru, and that he had fallen in love with a local girl, Nara, while he was there. What Saul finds, as he traces Jed’s last months, is not just a new connection to his old friend, but also to something much greater than himself.

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Articles

Gertrude and Alice Book Shop, Sydney NSW, Australia
Jo Cahill

Gertrude and Alice bookstore, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Named for the famed Paris-based expat authors, Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas, the Gertrude & Alice bookshop in Sydney’s Bondi suburb provides a literary twist to the predominantly surf- and beach-focused shopping area. Combining a love of food and a love of the written word, Gertrude & Alice is home to literary tens of thousands of new and used books, covering walls, floors and tables, and somewhere in between there’s a café serving breakfast and lunch, and all kinds of tea and coffee. Keep an eye out for the G&A chai tea, their signature drink.

Read More »
Mary Poppins statue, Maryborough, Queensland, Australia
Jo Cahill

Mary Poppins statue, Maryborough, Queensland, Australia

Standing 5’ tall and weighing only 100kg, this unassuming bronze statue of Mary Poppins, the world’s most famous nanny, keeps an eye on the comings and goings in Kent Street and Richmond Lane, in Maryborough (Queensland, Australia). With her umbrella pointed skyward, she looks ready to take off at any moment, but with tourists constantly popping by to take photographs with her, she has been stuck in once place since being commissioned in 2005.

Read More »
Katherine Mansfield House and Garden, Wellington, New Zealand
Jo Cahill

Katherine Mansfield House & Garden, Wellington, New Zealand

New Zealand’s most internationally acclaimed writer, Katherine Mansfield Beauchamp (who wrote under the name Katherine Mansfield), was born in the nation’s capital, Wellington, in October 1888. Stifled by the colonial world in which she grew up, Mansfield set sail for Europe at the age of 19, but following her younger brother, Leslie’s death in World War I, it was to their shared past that her thoughts returned, and her most well-known short stories, including The Garden Party, The Doll’s House and Prelude, were reminiscences of her childhood homes.

Read More »
Hanging Rock, Australia
Jo Cahill

Hanging Rock, Victoria, Australia

Hanging Rock, also – more correctly – known as Mount Diogenes, is most well known as the setting for the 1967 novel, Picnic at Hanging Rock, and the 1975 derivative film. The mystery story details a Valentine’s Day picnic in 1900, attended by staff and students of the fictional Appleyard College (in the real nearby town of Woodend). During the day, four of the girls walk off into the bush, but only one returns, traumatised.

Read More »