Books

Macaulay Station is now available from ICOE Press and will soon be available from bookshops and online. A kindle version is on the way.

Macaulay Station is a lament and a celebration. Frank Munro has lost his close friend Charlie, dead just one year, his career is a mundane casualty of the technological revolution, his youth is a memory, another casualty of the tyranny of time.

Frank Munro has had change thrust upon him. He’s trying to adapt. Once an award winning journalist, Frank has been put out to pasture, but he is fighting to renew his purpose, renew his life, and save the woman he loves from her disastrous infatuation.

Can a conversation with a dead man on Macaulay Station point the way?

A novel for anyone who has glimpsed the future and didn’t like what they saw.

Place an order at ICOE Press

 

You Never Met My Father, 2014, JoJo Publishing

You Never Met My Father_cover_01

Beseiging police defied by armed man. Detectives parley. These were headlines from The Argus (Melbourne) on the 30th November, 1951. The front page of newspapers across Australia bore similar news. The gunman was Denny Sparkes, my father.”

A mentally ill father marred Graeme Sparkes’ childhood. With a diagnosis ranging from psychotic, to schizophrenic, to just a plain old malingerer, Denny Sparkes’ ’emotional immaturity’ would affect not just his son, but through adoption his grandson. Interspersed with public records of his father’s actions, this story also examines memory and how the mind can confuse what is real and what is remembered.

Examining mental illness and its affects on the family, this memoir is a beautifully written and heartfelt account by the author of Beyond Tijuana and The Red Island.

Tony Wright, The Age, wrote:
[O]ne of Australia’s more vivid memoirs….. a wonderfully crafted and pitilessly honest trip behind the doors of his real life….It is a perceptive sometimes humorous story about the anguish of growing up and not fitting in.

(JoJo Publishing has ceased to trade.)

 

Beyond Tijuana, 1995, Text Publishing

                    img681

“Foreign lands never yield their secrets to a traveller. The best they offer are tantalising snippets, just enough to inflame the imagination. The secrets they do reveal are your own – the ones you have kept from yourself. And this is reason enough to travel, to leave home.”
Graeme Sparkes travelled with his companion, Tania, through Latin America in 1992, experiencing its cultural and natural wonders, but also witnessing the travails of life in a dozen countries, some where civil war had recently ended. There are poignant moments and hilarious interludes from Ecuador right up to the Mexican-US border.
This is an account as much about the foibles of travellers as exotic lands.

The Red Island, 1997, Text Publishing

                     img680

“In all the years of exposure to its image, nobody had taken the trouble to tell me how beautiful Uluru was at close quarters. The distant view of the monolith weighing down the earth was mundane compared to the perspective from its base. Its towering walls were streaked with black watermarks and pitted with deep cavities where lightning had struck. Boulders littered the ground. A harsh climate had caused the sandstone to crumble and fall away. The surface was scaly. I understood why the Anangu believed a reptile dwelt within. For the Anangu, who kept out of sight, this was home: a mighty rock set in a desert wilderness, set upon by hordes of tourists. Of course the Anangu could travel anywhere, but before white intruders came, this was their realm. I had travelled the world, crossed three or four continents, seen deserts, jungles, glaciers, immense cities. It hardly took an effort on my part, less effort than the first whites took to travel to Uluru. The breadth of my experience of the world was vast, if somewhat thin. And it came at a price. The price was a sense of attachment and a universe of manageable proportions. I broke my hike near the eastern end of Uluru to watch a small hawk that was gliding across a concave section of the rock face, high up and barely visible. Eventually, it drifted away from the cliff, and I lost it in the pure blue of the morning sky.”

In 1996 Sparkes undertook a journey around his own country, travelling mainly on buses, staying in backpacker hostels, discovering a land that was every bit as exotic and unexpected as many places he had been to overseas. This is a beguiling story about the locals and overseas travellers he encountered along the way.

 

3 thoughts on “Books

  1. joan english

    Dear Graeme, i recently read your piece The Pitfalls of Partnership Publishing in The Victorian Writer. I just had to send you a thank you.
    About ten years ago now, I found out I was one of twenty siblings and after writing a short piece which was published in a magazine I was contacted by Ch.7, who picked up my story. After this, I decided to try and write about my life (stranger than any fiction!) and having completed a Prof.Writing and Ed. Dip. I found i had some skill. I embarked on years of inner turmoil, writing about my life and facing things I had never let myself acknowledge before. It was a harrowing experience, but a life-changing one.
    Over the years, I have work shopped – had a Man. Ass.and joined the Fellowship of Aus. Writers. I also sent my work to JoJo Publishing and after many long phone calls from them, full of flattery and lies, I backed off as they didnt quite feel right. How lucky was I.

    Like

    Reply
    1. Graeme Sparkes Post author

      Very lucky I’d say. I’d advise patience and caution. Good luck finding a publisher, if you haven’t found one yet. Twenty siblings, my God! When I was in Guatemala, learning Spanish, my teacher told me she had over forty siblings. Her father stayed with a woman for about five years, had several children with her and then moved on to the next woman he fancied, breaking all ties with (and responsibilities for) any of the previous. Is yours a story like that?

      Like

      Reply
  2. joan english

    no, no, not like that at all, I came from a Dickensian family, 20 siblings from the same mother! An incestuous family and 11 children were kept, the rest given away or left like myself, on the steps of a hospital. Eventually adopted, but when one thinks of adoption, one thinks…..how lucky……but I have a different opinion. I was always a reminder of ‘failure’ a reminder that mother could not have her own….and that was a good thing for me. It also gave my father carte blanche – as he did not considered me ‘his’ either. So the cycle goes on.
    I didnt realise how lucky I was until later, I lived in Saudi Arabia and witnessed the stoning to death of a woman, for her crime of being in the presence of a man other than her husband.
    One could not make up some stories, it would seem too, too bizarre. Anyway, thanks for your reply…..Joan

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s