Trust Me, I'm a Storyteller

December 22, 2013

Compliments of the Season

Wishing everyone a Merry Yuletide and a safe and happy holiday.

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It’s been a busy year with several highlights, including but not limited to:

  • Graham’s book in production for release in 2014;

  • Only Connect: tales of Technology and Us from Australia and the Indian subcontinent’ ,  which I co-edited with Meenakshi Bharat, due for release in 2014 – it has intrigue, suspense, romance and humour – stories from some of the best emerging and established authors on both continents;

  • Gondwanalandings at the Victorian State Library;

  • The UTS Postgraduate Conference; mindfulness-research-program-2013

  • Book launches and events – fabulous books were launched this year, some have appeared on this blog – including: Dancing to the Flute (Manisha Jolie Amin), After Love (Subhash Jaireth), Poetic Connections: Australia and India (ed Tamaso Lonsdale),  Letter to George Clooney (Debra Adelaide), A Country Too Far (Ed. Rosie Scott & Tom Keneally) and Susanne Gervay’s Gracie and Josh and  ‘I Am Jack’ translations; Meenakshi Bharat A House for Mr Biswas: Critical Perspectives;

  • Theatre events, including opening nights at ‘Rapture Blister Burn’ at The Ensemble and ‘The First Garden: Olive Pink’ at the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens; ‘Short & Sweet’ at Newtown and Nautanki Theatre.

  • The UTS Writers’ Alumni continuing to expand and our fabulous team at Writers Connect;

  • Interviewing authors, publishers and reviewers for my research. Many thanks to all who participated and contributed their views and valuable insights;

  • Catching up with friends when in Sydney—including Susanne Gervay, Wendy Ashton, Libby Sommer, Devaki Monani, Devika Brendon, Sunil Badami, Louise Porebski, Shashi Sharma, Manisha Amin, Roanna Gonsalves, (when she is in Sydney), Chris and Natasha Raja, Ali Atkinson-Philips (when they are in Sydney) and all at the South Asian-Australian Writers’ Network (SAAWN).

I’m now eagerly anticipating a Merry Yuletide with my family who I don’t see nearly often enough. After that I’m looking forward to the New Year with more book releases; conferences, cultural programmes and keynote series  (including Kerala & Delhi); and continuing my research at UTS.

Watch this blog for the call out for stories for the fourth Indo-Australian anthology sometime in 2014.

Cheers,

Sharon

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October 6, 2013

A COUNTRY TOO FAR – SPECIAL FUNDRAISER PANEL EVENT

Following in the footsteps of ‘Alien Shores‘ comes another anthology on the theme of the dispossessed and asylum seekers.

There are two  Sydney events celebrating  the publication of A Country Too Far one the launch/event at Gleebooks on the 5th November and the other Unsafe Haven is the award winning work of Abdul Karim, ex-refugee, writer and social worker.

A COUNTRY TOO FAR – SPECIAL FUNDRAISER PANEL EVENT

 A Country Too Far cover

Panel: Rosie Scott, Gail Jones and Debra Adelaide, chaired by Tom Keneally

One of the central moral issues of our time is the question of asylum seekers, arguably the most controversial subject in Australia today.

In this landmark anthology, twenty-seven of Australia’s finest writers have focused their intelligence and creativity on the theme of the dispossessed, bringing a whole new perspective of depth and truthfulness to what has become a fraught, distorted war of words. This anthology confirms that the experience of seeking asylum – the journeys of escape from death, starvation, poverty or terror to an imagined paradise – is part of the Australian mindset and deeply embedded in our culture and personal histories.

A Country Too Far is a tour de force of stunning fiction, memoir, poetry and essays. Edited by award-winning writers Rosie Scott and Thomas Keneally, and featuring contributors including Anna Funder, Christos Tsiolkas, Elliot Perlman, Gail Jones, Raimond Gaita, Les Murray, Rodney Hall and Geraldine Brooks, this rich anthology is by turns thoughtful, fierce, evocative, lyrical and moving, and always extraordinarily powerful.

A Country Too Far makes an indispensable contribution to the national debate.

Please join the editors and contributors to celebrate the publication of this timely and important new anthology.

When: Tuesday November 5, 6 for 6:30pm

Venue: Gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe

Cost: $10 full price/$7 concession/free gleeclub

Bookings essential: phone (02) 9660 2333 or online

This is a fundraising event – all profits from book sales on the night will go to the Bridge for Asylum Seekers Foundation.

Fairfield City Museum & Gallery invites you

Unsafe Haven

On Thursday 31st October at 6pm

Unsafe Haven is the award winning work of Abdul Karim, ex-refugee, writer and social worker.

To be launched by Phil Glendenning, President of the Refugee Council of Australia and Director of the Edmund Rice Centre

The new publication, A Country Too Far, an anthology of works by Australia’s finest writers about refugees and asylum seekers, edited by Rosie Scott and Tom Keneally AO will also be launched in conjunction with the exhibition by writer  Gail Jones, Professor at UWS.

RSVP essential T: 9609 3993  by October  28th

Exhibition dates: 19 October – 7 December 2013

Fairfield City Museum & Gallery Open: Tues – Sat 10am – 4pm

FREE ADMISSION

Cnr. The Horsley Dr & Oxford St, Smithfield NSW 2164

www.livingmuseum.com.au Phone: 02 9609 3993 | Fax: 02 9757 4357 | Email: museumgall

June 16, 2012

‘Alien Shores’ launched

Huge thanks to all who participated in our successful launch of Alien Shores.

We managed not one but four launches for Alien Shores: Tales of Refugees and Asylum Seekers.

Edited by Meenakshi Bharat and Sharon Rundle this volume features stories from Australia and the Indian subcontinent by Linda Jaivin, Arnold Zable, Amitav Ghosh, Susanne Gervay, Jamil Ahmad, Sophie Masson, Deepa Agarwal, Michelle Cahill, Joginder Paul, Ali Alizadeh, Tabish Khair, Abdul Karim Hekmat, Anu Kumar, Andrew Y M Kwong, Bijoya Sawian, Julia Mackay-Koelen, Sujata Sankranti, Sharon Rundle and Meenakshi Bharat; with a foreword by Rosie Scott.

The collection of stories is a transnational publication to bring stories from India to Australia and from Australia to India. In our brief to the authors, Meenakshi and I asked that the stories be fictional, original and not play the blame game; but reveal the deeper complexities of the lives of refugees and asylum seekers from many different perspectives. The authors responded to our brief by imaginatively showing the effect on people in their daily lives. These diverse, creative and imaginative stories cover some surprising territory. Each story is different and unique. This means that we have included stories that portray refugees in a less kindly light, stories with no happy endings, stories that are deeply moving and stories that inspire with their courage and hope, warmth and humour.

In Sydney, Alien Shores was launched on May 20 by Mr Amit Dasgupta, Consul-General of India, Sydney, at a stellar event sponsored by the Hughenden Hotel. Finding a person to launch a book is never a problem. The real achievement lies in having someone who has not only read the book but one who brings a unique understanding to it.

In releasing Alien Shores, the Consul-General of India, Sydney, Mr Amit Dasgupta addressed the audience in a way that showed compassion and understanding. He acknowledged the gravity of a world with a moving mosaic of refugees. He spoke of the need for us to show humanity and of how easily any one of us could be thrust into similar situations.  The Consul-General spoke with warmth, generosity and humour.

Photo of the Consul-General of India taken by Raihana Hekmat

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Roanna Gonsalves, our MC, made sure that the launch was beautifully paced. Editors Meenakshi Bharat and Sharon Rundle spoke about discovering the theme and collaborating to bring these stories from Australia and the Indian subcontinent together in a transnational collection. Linda Jaivin, Andrew Y M Kwong, Abdul Hekmat, Michelle Cahill, Susanne Gervay and Rosie Scott, who have given such support for Alien Shores, came along and read from their stories; and afterwards happily signed books at our tea party. Authors in the audience included David Malouf, Devika Brendon, Patti Miller, Libby Sommer, Mabel Lee, Jacquie Everitt, as well as film and theatre producers Ana Tiwari, Neel Banerjee and Devaki Monani from SBS Hindi Radio.

 Readings Bookstore hosted the launch of Alien Shores in Melbourne on May 21.

Julian Burnside QC gave a moving and eloquent speech to launch ‘Alien Shores’. Arnold Zable read briefly from his story in ‘The Dust of Life’, followed by author and poet Ali Alizadeh who spoke about the unique perspective of his story before treating the audience to a short reading from ‘The Ogre’.  Sharon and Meenakshi revealed more about publishing the collection of stories. Publisher Kabita Dhara, spoke about Brass Monkey Books and Alien Shores. Authors Jen McVeity, Hazel Edwards, Meredith Costain, Paul Collins, Rose Inserra, illustrator Marjory Gardner joined us to celebrate the release of Alien shores.

After toasting Alien Shores with a glass of bubbly, Meenakshi and I moved on to Lygon Street to a birthday dinner for Paul Collins with Susanne Gervay, Jen McVeity, Hazel Edwards, Meredith Costain, Rose Inserra, illustrator Marjory Gardner and Edwin Wandha where we consumed some delish pasta and a few more bubbles.

Gosford Library Services held a Preview Launch on May 18 at their Erina Library on the NSW Central Coast.

        

Guest of Honour, Deb O’Neill, Federal MP, gave an impassioned speech about the theme of the book. Her deep understanding and recognition of the purpose of the book and the individual stories within, as she launched the volume had the audience spellbound. Andrew Y M Kwong, Michelle Cahill, Julia Mackay-Koelen attended the launch. Editors Sharon Rundle and Meenakshi Bharat talked about the value of reading the stories by authors from India and Australia in Alien Shores. John Caska, acted as MC to introduce the guest speakers.

 Gloucester Writers’ Festival launched Alien Shores during their warm and friendly lunch time event.

The festival featured writers Michael Wilding, Lisa Heidke, Lisa Walker and Susanne Gervay who was keynote speaker. Andrew Y M Kwong and Sharon Rundle read from their stories. Sharon spoke about the genesis of the book and Susanne gripped the audience with her story of her refugee background.

 

 Alien Shorespresents nineteen remarkable stories from acclaimed writers based in Australia and the Indian Subcontinent, which ruminate on the lives of refugees and asylum seekers all over the world. Powerful, poignant and sometimes funny, they tell the tales of brave people who, at great peril to their own safety, seek out a new life in a new land.

Alien Shores is available in all good book stores, including the Coop Bookshop, Berkelouw Paddington, Abbeys, Dymocks, Gleebooks, QBD.

 Alien Shores is published by Brass Monkey Books an imprint of Hunter Publishers.

 brassmonkey@hunterpublishers.com.au

 for any enquiries

 

ALIEN SHORES IS AVAILABLE FROM MAY 2012 FROM UNITED BOOK DISTRIBUTORS

 

 Brass Monkey Books Australia

Editors: Meenakshi Bharat and Sharon Rundle (Eds)

Publish Date: May 2012

ISBN-13:9780980863932

ISBN-10:0980863937

Origin:Australia

Imprint:Hunter Publishers

Publisher:U.Q.P.

February 7, 2012

“Alien Shores”, the stories that Geoffrey Rush is calling for.

English: Geoffrey Rush at the 2011 Cannes film...

Image via Wikipedia

Alien Shores – Tales of refugees and asylum seekers from Australia and the Indian subcontinent

edited by Sharon Rundle and Meenakshi Bharat.

Geoffrey Rush, in his speech as Australian of the Year 2012, put out a call to the writers of Australia, saying that he wanted to see the “stories of people wanting to come here at great peril to their lives, with such extraordinary bravery”, adding that: “we’re not finding that human scale in the story and I think it’d be good if we did.

Alien Shores is exactly what Geoffrey Rush is calling for. A book ahead of its time, it has stories about refugees and asylum seekers from Linda Jaivin, Arnold Zable, Amitav Ghosh, Sophie Masson, Jamil Ahmad, Ali Alizadeh, Sujata Sankranti, Abdul Karim Hekmat, Anu Kumar, Susanne Gervay, Deepa Agarwal, Michelle Cahill, Tabish Khair, Joginder Paul, Andrew Y M Kwong, Bijoya Sawian, JuliaMackay-Koelen, Sharon Rundle and Meenakshi Bharat.

Rosie Scott in her foreword, writes: ‘It is the writer’s act of imagination which is the basis of all good fiction, the kind of fiction that opens new worlds to the reader. The power of literature to move people, allow us to see into one another’s hearts, to foster compassion and understanding and inspire political action works in a way that almost nothing else does. This anthology “Alien Shores” edited by Sharon Rundle and Meenakshi Bharat, following on from the success of their first anthology “Fear Factor Terror Incognito” does just that. In this unique collaboration between Indian and Australian writers these stories describe the experiences of refugees in powerful and poignant detail.

Meenakshi Bharat, Rosie Scott and Sharon Rundle

 Co-editor Meenakshi Bharat will be visiting Sydney from New Delhi for the launch of Alien Shores at the Hughenden Hotel in Woollahra on May 20, 2012. Many of our authors also plan to join us for the launch.

Contact: Sharon.P.Rundle@alumni.uts.edu.au for details.

Meenakshi is also speaking at Sydney University ‘Scenes of Reading: Is Australian Literature a World Literature?’ symposium (26th May) and at Wollongong University on 23rd May and the UTS Centre for New Writing.

Alien Shores, Eds. Meenakshi Bharat and Sharon Rundle

published Brass Monkey Books (May 2012)

ISBN: 9780980863932.

RRP: $24.95

http://www.penguin.com.au/browse/by-publisher/uqp

Alien Shores will be available from the Penguin Books website and all good book shops, so you can order your copy now or copies can be ordered from United Book Distributors (UBD)

Phone: (03) 9811 2555 Fax: (03) 9811 2403 Email: orders@unitedbookdistributors.com.au

English: Still image from the documentary film...

Image via Wikipedia

  • Map showing origin countries of refugees /asyl...

    Image via Wikipedia

July 3, 2011

ChilOut – Children in detention

News from ChilOut is that the government has just announced the release of 62% of the children into community-based detention. The government is to be congratulated on their more humane stance but that still leaves more than 300 children in locked detention. While I am glad to hear that many children are now in community-based detention, the children not yet released are important too.

I truly feel both the government and the opposition have been losing their way completely with all the hysteria about refugees and asylum seekers. Having been overseas recently (Africa, India and Europe) and having family living overseas, I’ve seen how they cope with far greater numbers there, I am so ashamed at the way we treat refugees here. Surely the hysteria here is partly fuelled by the fact that refugees are locked away so people don’t get to see or meet them and so it is so much easier to portray them as some kind of aliens. Good on Dr Michael Dudley, Rosie Scott, Ngareta Rossell, ChilOut and others for putting so much time and effort into doing something against the odds.

If you feel you can support them please check this out

“Here is not for children” Rosie Scott_10x10_010711

Rosie Scott is one of our award winning and treasured Australian authors and gives her own time and money to supporting refugees and trying to raise the level of consciousness and debate through advocacy, direct action and her writing. She is one of the Australian authors who contributed to ‘Fear Factor Terror Incognito”, a collection of stories from India and Australia published by Picador Australia and Picador India, which I co-edited with Meenakshi Bharat.

October 20, 2010

World Matters ~ Writers Disturbing the Peace

 

Diamond Valley Oxfam, Montsalvat and ELTHAMbookshop

With Nillumbik Shire Council

Present The 6th Annual 

World Matters 2010 Writers – Disturbing the Peace

Dates: October 27 & 30-31

Venue: Montsalvat, Hillcrest Avenue, Eltham 

An International and Regional Programme featuring: Fear Factor Terror Incognito Indo-Australian Authors’ Anthology Panel, chaired by Sharon Rundle, with excerpts of short stories from a unique Indo–Australian collaboration, edited by Sharon Rundle and Meenakshi Bharat, which includes David Malouf, Salman Rushdie, Kiran NagarkarTabish Khair, Neelum Saran Gour,  Janhavi Acharekar, Temsula AoThomas Keneally Andrew Y M Kwong, Rosie Scott,   Meera KantSujata Sankranti, Guy Scotton, Jaspreet Singh, Denise Leith, Gulzar, and Yasmine Gooneratne.

 Readings will be followed by an in-depth discussion, by authors Susanne Gervay, Devika Brendon, Jeremy Fisher and Meenakshi Bharat from Delhi of the issues raised. Book signings will follow the panel discussion and questions.

We invite you to join us.

Susanne Gervay says: please say hello to Sharon, Meenakshi and me at the Festival

Fear Factor Terror Incognito ~ Stories from India and Australia
 

 Also on the Programme: Titi Amaral and Jude Conway’s audio visual narrative of East Timor Women’s brave stories of resistance and survival from the anthology Step by Step, this is Supported by East Timor Women Australia and an Exhibition and sales of East Timor textiles in the Resident Artist’s Gallery; and Ouyang Yu, The English Class, Roger Averill, Keeping Faith, Jane Carswell Under the Huang Jia Tree: Two Journeys in China through story and memoir, transit lounge us across cultures of China, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

There is so much more to World Matters 2010 Writers – Disturbing the Peace, for bookings and the full exciting programme at magical Montsalvat

 Books and CDs will be available for sale and signing. A 10% discount for purchase of 5 books or more. Reading the books beforehand will ensure a lively and informed discussion during Q and A.

 Prepaid bookings for World Matters are essential at

ELTHAMbookshop@bigpond.com

970 Main Road, Eltham

Phone +61 3 9439 8700

 October 27

Here on Earth: A Sustainable Future with Tim Flannery $10.00

 October 30 – 31

Festival Pass: $45.00 ( Does not include Tim Flannery event) Early Bird Bookings: $35.00 (bookings by October 20th)

Students: $25.00 Each session: $7.00 (unless otherwise stated)

 October 31

6.30pm – 7.30pm Duende Concert with Joe Chindamo: $15.00

 The Meeting Pool at Montsalvat offers the World Matters audience a very special menu to sustain you through the two days.

Bookings for breakfast, lunch and dinner must be made with Andrew Proctor by October 27th at 9431 2681

catering@montsalvat.com.au.

Join us for an exciting and stimulating weekend of literary brilliance! 

Book now  for the World Matters Festival, details on the websites and programme.

Please pass the word wherever you can, here are some additional websites:

Montsalvat: a Weekend of Literary Brilliance

the Asia-Pacific Writing Partnership

World Matters ~ Writers Disturbing the Peace Full Programme (pdf)

ABC The Big Diary

 

June 22, 2010

UTS students headline journalism award nominations – University of Technology, Sydney

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UTS students headline journalism award nominations – University of Technology, Sydney

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April 2, 2010

Gosford Preview, UTS Tfc Anthology Panel & Sydney Book launch

Photos from:

The Preview of Fear Factor Terror Incognito at the East Gosford Regional Gallery on Friday March 19. *****************************************************************************************************************

An intelligent and informed debate during the University of Technology Sydney Transforming Cultures Research Centre Writers’ Anthology Panel at the  UTS  Gallery on March 17. Chair, Devleena Ghost; Panellists: Andrew Y M Kwong, Rosie Scott, Sujata Sankranti, Meenakshi Bharat, Susanne Gervay. Event organised by UTS  TfC and Sharon Rundle.

With a passionate and intelligent speech, Melina Marchetta launches Fear Factor Terror Incognito at The Hughenden. Reliable sources say that nearly 200 people attended. Contributing authors spent a long time signing copies of the book. It was fantastic to see so many of the authors there, willing to sign books and chat to people who came along to the launch. Books and Beyond made very good sales on the day. The Hughenden was full to bursting, with many people arriving early and having lunch as well but all went smoothly for a stylish and exciting event.   I enjoyed catching up will lots of people there.

Thanks to everyone who helped to organise this fabulous book launch.

March 22, 2010

Successful launches of Fear Factor Terror Incognito

It has been a non-stop tour of Sydney, the NSW Central Coast, the Watagan Mountains and Hunter Valley for co-editor Meenakshi Bharat and author Sujata Sankranti. They spoke at the University of Technology Sydney Writers’ Anthology Panel, the NSW Writers’ Centre History Festival ‘Writing the Past’, the Gosford Preview of the book Fear Factor Terror Incognito, and the Sydney launch. Photos and more details will be posted shortly, in the meantime you can visit Susanne’s blog at http://www.sgervay.com/blog/

As well as the official functions and events, Meenakshi, Sujata and I visited the Australian Reptile Park at Somersby on the NSW Central Coast; The Entrance to see the pelicans being fed; The Hunter Valley wineries; Terrigal beach and The Skillion; Bondi Beach; and other Eastern Suburbs beaches as well as South Head. We went to Circular Quay where we enjoyed the relaxed festive atmosphere with buskers and artists, visited the Opera House and took a trip on the Manly ferry.

The visit to the Australian Reptile Park was definitely a highlight of their visit. The media were there to record their response and to promote the book in the Central Coast Express Advocate. We took some terrific photos which I’ll add later on.

An excellent discussion ensued at the UTS TfC Writers’ Anthology Panel, chaired by Devleena Ghosh.

Sharon and Mabel Lee at UTS TfC Writers' Anthology Panel event.

The Preview was also a highlight with the authors signing books and reading from their stories as the book was launched by Professor Sturmberg.

The Sydney launch at The Hughenden was a great success with the room overflowing with people, Susanne Gervay was a witty and entertaining MC who soon had our audience relaxed. See Dr Cathy Kezelman’s blog

Melina Marchetta spoke eloquently and passionately about the topic of terrorism and the anthology “Fear Factor Terror Incognito”. She commented on the different stories included in the book and recommended that the book should be on the Higher School Certificate texts list.

Launch of Fear Factor Terror Incognito at The Hughenden Hotel in Sydney

The launch was attended by over 120 people. Authors at the launch included David Malouf, Susanne Gervay, Andrew Y M Kwong, Devika Brendon, Rosie Scott, Denise Leith, Sujata Sankranti, Meenakshi Bharat; Editors Meenakshi and Sharon Rundle. The book was launched by Melina Marchetta.

January 1, 2010

Pre Order your copy of Fear Factor Terror Incognito


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Fear Factor Terror Incognito

*************************************************************

For Pre-orders and special offers!

You can pre-order your Picador Australia copies of

Fear Factor Terror Incognito

an Indo-Aus collection of stories at:

Abbey’s Bookshop

Fishpond

Angus & Robertson

http://www.angusrobertson.com.au/by/bharat/394265/

QBD

Collins Books Featured Book

Co-op Bookshop

From the Picador Australia (Pan Macmillan) webpage: “A unique collaboration between Australia and India, the stories represent these writers’ protests against the phenomenon of modern terror. They do not offer solutions. Instead, they lead readers along the hidden paths of an unfamiliar psychology to make their own discoveries.

A joint publication with Picador UK and Picador India, Fear Factor: Terror Incognito is essential reading for anyone interested the global phenomenon of terror.”

From jagrancityplus:

It is an attempt to ward off fear and restore humanity by reminding the readers about mankind, unity, peace and harmony. It motivates them to uphold humanitarian values and light the fire of anti-terrorism, thereby making the planet safe for the entire human race,” Meenakshi Bharat said. The articles have been contributed by famous authors from Australia and the Indian subcontinent, including David Malouf, Salman Rushdie, Neelum Saran Gour, Tom Keneally, Rosie Scott, Jeremy Fisher, Susanne Gervay, Tabish Khair, Denise Leith, Andrew YM Kwong, Devika Brendon, Gulzar, Meera Kant, Guy Scotton, Sujata Sankranti, Kiran Nargarkar, Temsula Ao, Jaspreet Singh and Janhavi Acharekar; with a foreword by Yasmine Gooneratne. They do not offer solutions; instead they lead readers along hidden paths to make their own discoveries

And …

We made the Wall St Journal! There is news about Rushdie + a mention of the anthology in Tabish Khair’s column in MINT at:

http://www.livemint.com/2010/01/01221827/The-Bollywood-novel.html?h=B

MONTHLY LITERARY COLUMN by Tabish Khair in MINT (Mumbai) & The Wall Street Journal.

Also First City (Monthly) New Delhi

“Fear Factor Terror Incognito” review First City Monthly New Delhi

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Reserve your copy of Fear Factor Terror Incognito today by pre-ordering at any of the above bookstores online or in-store.

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