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Archive for the ‘Historical Fiction’ Category

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Hello, my name is Clare Strahan and I’m working on a historical fiction here at Varuna, and this is a piece from the prologue which I’m not sure will even make it into the final draft, but here we go:

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I am Caroline Petit. Black Lambs re-imagines the intimate lives of the naturalist, explorer and diplomat, François, the Count de Castelnau and his much younger Brazilian mistress Carolina Fonçeca. The scene occurs in 1861 at a Paris theatre. (more…)

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“Hi, my name is Christine Piper. Today I’m reading from my novel in progress called Undertow, which is a work of historical fiction about Japanese civilian internment in Australia during World War II. The narrator is a Japanese doctor who worked in Broome. (more…)

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“My name is Mireille Mardaga-Campbell, an archaeologist and writer from North Queensland. I am going to read from La Serenissima, a historical fiction, which was selected for the Varuna/PanMacmillan publishers fellowship.

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“Hello, this is Kate Grenville. I’m going to read from The Secret River.

The Alexander, with its cargo of convicts, had bucked over the face of the ocean for the better part of a year. Now it had fetched up at the end of the earth. There was no lock on the door of the hut where William Thornhill, transported for the term of his natural life, was passing his first night in His Majesty’s penal colony of New South Wales. There was hardly a door, barely a wall: only a flap of bark, a screen of sticks and mud. There was no need of lock, of door, of wall: this was a prison whose bars were ten thousand miles of water.

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“Hi, I’m Stephen Samuel and I am reading an excerpt from my fiction manuscript The Strange Eventful History of the Sufferings and Deaths of Robert O’Hara Burke and William John Wills. It is a fictional retelling of the final days of the ill-fated Burke and Wills Expedition.

“Coooooeeeeeee.”
Burke kicks Landa in the ribs, forcing her to gallop.
The larger camel carries Wills and King on either side of his depleted hump.
They hear Burke up ahead again call out his mighty cooee.
“Braaaahheeee, Paaaaattteeeeen.” Burke sings their names with the same cadence. He calls out Wright’s name, but it doesn’t lend itself to the same tune.
Three more times Burke sings and each time there is no response.
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“I’m Jesse Blackadder and I’m going to read from my novel The Raven’s Heart which was published in 2011.

Scotland, 1561.
We come across the North Sea, bearing the face of heaven in our hold.
A fleet of ships brings such a treasure, our galley speeding ahead and the rest following slowly with her horses and fineries, her tapestries and clothes. She returns from thirteen years in the French court to take up the reins of power.
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