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The Penguin Book of Australian War Writing

by Mark Dapin

From the cove at Gallipoli, to the battlefields of Tobruk, through the jungles of Vietnam, to the deserts of Afghanistan and Iraq, Australia’s short history is a story of war.

The battlefield has shaped the way we define ourselves – the Australian values of mateship, courage under fire, larrikinism – but few of us have witnessed these scenes firsthand. Soldiers writing from the front and journalists on the ground have formed the way we think about war and so formed the way we think about ourselves.

In The Penguin Book of Australian War Writing, Mark Dapin has gathered together the finest of these accounts. The book features writing from arguably Australia’s greatest author, Patrick White; one of our finest artists, Donald Friend; and a surprising and deeply moving previously unpublished memoir by TV personality Peter Cundell. With several other well-known and loved Australian authors, such as such as Banjo Paterson and Kenneth Slessor, this anthology highlights the compelling first-hand experiences of soldiers and journalists.

These are stories from men and women who fought to protect and serve. The breadth of the selections gives an extraordinary portrait of our country and its relationship to war. These remarkable letters, diaries, memoirs and reports remind us of our history, and our responsibility in recording and recognising what happens in the wars we send our soldiers to fight.

The Penguin Book of Australian War Writing is a comprehensive and captivating collection edited by acclaimed journalist and author, Mark Dapin.



About Mark Dapin

Mark Dapin is the author of the novels King of the Cross and Spirit House. King of the Cross won the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction, and Spirit House was long listed for the Miles Franklin Literary Award and shortlisted for the Age Book of the Year and the Royal Society for Literature's Ondaatje Prize. His recent work of military history, The Nashos' War, has been widely acclaimed. He is a PhD candidate at the Australian Defence Force Academy.

Other books by Mark Dapin



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