25 April is ANZAC Day, Australia and New Zealand’s day of national remembrance. This day marks the anniversary of the landing of Gallipoli and the first action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during World War I. It is a day to pause and reflect upon the many different meanings of war.
Luckily for a lot of us this reflection can only be experienced via books, films, photographs and other sources. I think that it would be close to an impossible task to write about something so horrible and difficult to comprehend as the experience of war and yet there are books that manage this task extraordinarily well. For those interested in factual accounts, there is a lot of excellent nonfiction available on the war experiences of Australian and New Zealand armed forces. However, it seems that great fictional narratives of what it might feel like to be a human being and a soldier in active combat are much harder to find.
After some discussion we have selected a few books that we think are the most powerful in bringing to life the experience of war from an Australian perspective for both adult and young readers. If you are already familiar with most of these books, take notice of two new titles to be published shortly. The first one is the World War I story Daughters of Mars written by the beloved Australian author Thomas Keneally and to be released in Australia on June 1st, 2012. The second novel (to be published in Australia and UK in May and in USA and Canada in June) is entitled The Watch by Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya. This powerful story will shake you up with its vivid depictions of the strange inner and outer realities that soldiers experience today in Afghanistan
Help us create a featured bookshelf that can hold the books that made you understand the experience of war anywhere in the world both from soldier’s and civilian’s perspective. Share with other readers the books that can help us to remember