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March 24 , 2017

Non Posso

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Twenty-eight award-winning travel stories from the Stringybark Short Story Awards, will take you on adventures to far-flung continents. They will amuse and entertain you in this anthology of travel themed tales by Australian and international short story writers.

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Our Name Wasn't Written - A Malta Memoir (1936-1943)

This is the memoir of a young mother struggling to feed, clothe and house her family on “the most bombed island on earth” — Malta, during World War II.Written by two generations of eye-witnesses to the destruction wrought on the strategically vital island of Malta by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.The book contains extensive additional historical…

I’m scared. They’re children and I used to be a teacher, but I’m still scared. It’s impossible to tell how many there are. Why, oh why did I turn into this street? A moment ago it was empty. And then, suddenly one child, a little girl, bobs up in front of me. Tangled hair. Stick arms. Shapeless dress. She jabs her fingers towards her mouth. Fingernails rimmed with dirt.
— from "Children's Hands" by Helen Lyne

Before me lay, arranged in solid but unimaginative patterns, thousands upon thousands of skulls, all resting, placed by some unknown hand, on femurs, tibias and ulnas. To say that it was as silent as a tomb would be no exaggeration, for before me, behind me and to my sides, in every direction were millions of people. Well at least the remains of people. Each one, at one time, living, breathing, loving, playing, eating, working, dying.
— from "Ghosts? Pah!" by Michael Wilkinson

Labouring up the massive cinder cone of the active volcano on Vanuatu’s Tanna Island was a memorable event, not least because our young Melanesian guide wore nothing but a penis sheath and a smile. As we walked behind him, the women in the group gazed at his bare buttocks dusted with tight, peppercorn curls, grinning at each other and wiggling our eyebrows. We did occasionally look upward as Mt Yasur spewed out lava and boulders the size of small cars, but he managed to focus our attention on something other than the imminent danger of liquefaction or crushing. There are few health and safety regulations in the third world, although I suppose penis sheaths could be classified as Personal Protective Equipment.
— from "Close Encounter of the Fourth Kind" by Julie Davies

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