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We Are Here

Told through the bright and unflinching eyes of Cat Thao, a daughter born in a refugee camp, We Are Here is a memoir that begins in 1975 with her family’s gripping exodus by foot out of post-war Vietnam – a dangerous journey, unimaginable to most, on which many perished.

Cat Thao’s family’s escape from persecution traverses the horrific jungles of Khmer Rouge Cambodia and into the crowded Thai refugee camps. From which, finally, the Nguyens were allowed to board a Qantas plane to a freedom they wanted desperately. But the stark contrasting suburban landscapes of Western Sydney, Australia were not the unalloyed blessing they’d imagined.

Against the backdrop of an immigrant experience, Cat Thao tells of her coming of age in Australia, haunted by lingering trauma but buoyed by instincts of hope, reinvention and survival. In a voice both candid and striking, Cat Thao details her struggles with growing up: from her bad skin and hairy legs to Vietnamese mysticism and kinship, and bound throughout by familial loyalty and honour.

With wit and poignancy, We Are Here explores an Australia of the 80s and 90s, and a family’s tireless journey for peace through a young woman’s absolute determination to find her place.

Tsunami and the Single Girl

As a free-spirited traveller, Krissy–now almost thirty–needs her life to start taking shape. So how does a wild night on a dance floor in Vietnam land her a sought-after role in Oxfam working in emergency relief? And how does the excess of the expatriate scene, a string of Mr Wrongs and failed romances lead to self-discovery and ultimately self-fulfilment?

Against the backdrop of adrenalin-fuelled disaster response, Krissy begins to understand the power of the human spirit in the face of adversity. Whether co-ordinating emergency relief work in-the-field, or trying to find love in all the wrong places, Krissy takes us on a heartfelt and surprising adventure.

Our Own Piece of Paris

We had two weeks. There were two of us and nine million of them. The chances were not good… This delightful and compelling account of one couple’s attempt to buy their dream flat in Paris is a perfect summer read.

Paris has seduced many, but for Ellie Nielsen it’s true love. So deep was her infatuation with the city that, if she couldn’t have it all to herself she simply had to buy her own little piece of it. The object of her desire seems so simple: the sort of apartment she’d seen a thousand times in magazines and books. Something effortlessly charming, and old, and quirky – and beautifully done up. A place exuding character and Parisian chic. Something quintessentially French.

The only trouble is that she can spare just 2 weeks in which to realize her dream. But can she negotiate a deal in a foreign language without offending the French? Is it possible – or just a ridiculous fantasy? French phrasebook in hand, plucking up her reserves of savoir faire, and accompanied by her ever-tolerant husband and her young son, Ellie embarks on an adventure. Our Own Piece of Paris is a hilarious and entirely delightful love-song to the most stylish city in the world.