Carindale, Qld – The award-winning novel Easter at Tobruk, written by Yass resident Michael O’Sullivan, will be launched in Canberra and surrounding areas from Wednesday, June 13.
Interactive Publications Director Dr David Reiter will also be attending to co-launch his children’s picture book Real Guns.
Launches will be held at Goulburn Library, from 6-8pm, Wednesday June 13; Smith’s Alternative Bookshop, Canberra, from 6-8pm, Thursday, June 14; Yass Library, from 6:30 – 8:30pm, Friday, June 15; and in Queanbeyan, at Queanbeyan Council Library, from 10am, and Angus and Rovertson Bookshop, from 12pm, on Saturday, June 16.
While written for children, Reiter’s story, which was illustrated by Irish artist Patrick Murphy, confronts the topical issues of gun control and the effects of war on returning soldiers and their families.
Reiter was motivated by his memory of growing up in the US, where guns were, and still are, part of everyday life. One day he discovered his father’s hidden gun.
“It didn’t go off as I cradled it, but it was only good luck that it didn’t,” Reiter explained. “Many others aren’t so lucky. I had to write about that.”
O’Sullivan’s novel, which re-visits Australia’s involvement in the 1941 Battle of Tobruk, is a powerful story of contemporary and historical Australia.
The novel is set during two Easters: the chaotic 1941 of Tobruk, and a calmer Australian Easter fifty years later. A young man, reading his grandfather’s war diaries, experiences the tragedy of war first-hand.
“It seemed appropriate to bring these issues to the fore not only in the historical context of 1941, but also in a future setting,” O’Sullivan explains, “enabling the work to explore the effects of war not only on the participants, but also on their friends and families, and future generations.”
With declining numbers of war veterans to march each Anzac Day, the closest links to war history for many young Australians are now provided by diaries, letters and other personal papers. O’Sullivan seeks to communicate the experience of reading another’s personal thoughts and feelings.
Having published his previous novel, Secret Writing, IP is pleased to continue its relationship with O’Sullivan and proud to launch this important novel in his local area.