Books

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The Tiger has Many Lives: The Story of Rod Wells
by Pamela Wells (2022)

Available for purchase here

The Story of Rod Wells is a remarkable tale of determination, endurance and survival in WW2. Rod had a passion for wireless technology and served in Malaya and Singapore as an officer with 8 Division Signals. His nightmare began in 1942 when Singapore fell to the Japanese, allied forces surrendered, and he became a prisoner of war.
Sent to Sandakan in British North Borneo, Rod joined a local underground movement. Using his ingenuity and skill he built a wireless radio and also a transmitter virtually from scratch. In July 1943, when the underground was betrayed, Rod was arrested by the Kempeitai and subjected to brutal torture before being tried and sent to Outram Road Gaol in Singapore.
Rod Wells returned to civilian and academic life to become a world expert in electronics and neuclonics. His remarkable life was defined by his determination, his will to live, his self-discipline and unfailing optimism. Rod’s story is one of extraordinary inspiration and exceptional achievements, highlighting his ability to overcome extreme hardship by never giving up.

‘As one of the few first-hand accounts of POW life in Borneo’s Sandakan Camp and the equally infamous Outram Road Gaol in Singapore, this book will be a valuable addition to the nation’s military heritage.’
Lynette Silver AM, military historian

‘It is hard to imagine a more creative person than Rod Wells. From boyhood he pushed the boundaries of discovery and his genius came to the fore as an adult. Had he lived in an earlier era, Rod may well have invented the wheel.’
David Matthews

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The Illustrator_Cover

The Illustrator by Jill Barclay (2018)

Available for purchase at Jill Barclay Books

The Illustrator is based on Jill Barclay’s real grandmother, a woman who just disappears. All her life Eileen is sure of one thing – her love of drawing and the desire to be a commercial artist. In the 1920s, Eileen’s talents are well recognised in the Goulburn Valley where she is a farmer’s daughter, but this is a place and time when women can only be wives, mothers and homemakers. A woman choosing a career over her husband and baby is unheard of.

Written with an acute eye for the period and a sympathy for the distressing choices a woman might be forced to make The Illustrator offers an alternative history for being female and not ordinary in the first half of last century.’   Helen Elliott

Time and place are brilliantly evoked in Jill Barclay’s The Illustrator, which opens in rural Victoria and moves on to Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland. The novel traces the unpredictable life journey of a young woman who resists conventional expectations. Deftly shaped and written with imaginative power, this haunting novel confronts us with the mystery of a self-driven personality.’   Brenda Niall

Jill Barclay’s The Illustrator demonstrates such richness of imagination, the writing is evocative and full of charm, and the story crackles with unforgettable moments – I was immediately transported.’    Louise Swinn

The Illustrator could well reflect Miles Franklin’s character Sybylla Melvyn who turns her back on an offer of a marriage in order to travel and write.’   Dianne Demspey