Updates on our books, authors and events for September 2013:
  • New release: Cokcraco 
  • Brisbane Writers Festival event this Saturday
  • James Quinn on being a debut novelist
  • Reviews - what people are saying about our books

News from ...


New release - out now in paperback and ebook

Cokcraco by Paul Williams

by Paul Williams

An exhilarating, playful and witty novel about writing, identity and literary KritiKs (not to be confused with KriKits).

"a brilliant satire of letters" — Elizabeth McKenzie

"A strange, funny, intelligent and quite unforgettable novel. What Flaubert did for parrots, Mr Williams has done for the humble roach." — Jeffrey Poacher

Author events & news

Brisbane Writer's Festival: 'da cockroach voice' - KritiKs & Kreators

A reminder for those in South-East Queensland that there's more fun to be had this Saturday than voting. Join us for this conversation about voice and critics, as part of the launch of Cokcraco - win a signed "Bantu" edition copy just by asking the best question. Full details at Attendance is free but you must register - bookings via the BWF website:

James Quinn on being a debut novelist

What motivates an author to write? What books had the biggest influence? James Quinn, author of Falling Backwards (June 2013), answers these questions and more on the Good Reading magazine blog:

Reviews - what people are saying about our books

by Paul Williams

“Paul Williams has written a novel that provides every conceivable narrative pleasure. Cokcraco is a brilliant satire of letters set against the backdrop of post-colonial Africa. I cannot praise this novel highly enough.”
Elizabeth McKenzie, author of Stop That Girl!

“Ever since Don Quixote, novelists have been taking the piss. In Cokcraco, Paul Williams does exactly that, turning the full beam of his satirical spotlight on the civil wars of university departments, the cultish bunkum of literary theory, the self-obsession of creative writing courses and the self-flagellation of white liberal guilt. In the process, Mr Williams also succeeds in poking fun at the conventions of the novel itself. Cokcraco reads like a collage of what one of its pompous academics would probably call discourses – pseudo-scholarly footnotes, pseudo-scientific articles, pseudo-poems, pseudo-stories and a cod travel guide memorably called Crowded Planet. This is a novel that does its best to defy classification. This is a novel that sets out to be a real genre-bender – it’s at once a cross-cultural comedy of manners, a campus comedy transplanted to post-apartheid South Africa and a sly philosophical whodunit.
       So there is some serious fun to be had here, but with something darkly serious lurking under the lush tropical surface. In this country of gated communities and ubiquitous Kalashnikovs, violence never seems far away. The novel’s central character, an expat Australian academic called Timothy Turner, has braved the post-apartheid chaos and come to KwaZulu on a quest to find a renowned local writer whose diverse literary output celebrates the cockroach as an emblem of both oppression and resistance. This quest turns out to be a lot more than the ingenuous Dr Turner bargained for. By his side, the reader will encounter cockroaches in every incarnation under the sun – as scientific marvel (surviving nuclear war and all that), as cultural marker (the rich don’t like them), as interior decoration (glued onto furniture as a kind of ornamental strip), as embodiment of the frustrated male ego (well, we all know who Gregor Samsa is), as narrative voice, as literary inspiration. The result is a strange, funny, intelligent and quite unforgettable novel. What Flaubert did for parrots, Mr Williams has done for the humble roach.”

Jeffrey Poacher, journalist and literary critic, September 2013

Cokcraco is a brilliantly witty mystery set in South Africa. Naive Australian academic Timothy Turner sets off on a quest to find the mysterious African writer (the Greatest African Writer of All Times) Sizwe Bantu, who has never been seen in person, but whose works have attracted a cult following, especially his world-famous 'cockroach stories.' His stunning works (Bantu's that is) pepper the novel throughout, so that the reader is lead on a multi-layered literary journey which is at once serious and playful, and which invites us to contemplate the nature of creativity and inspiration. This is a novel to be read again and again...and again.”

Shelley Davidow (on

“It's very rare to come across a new book this funny, this smart, this artfully written and structured--set in South Africa, set in back-stabbing academia, set in the mind of a paranoid and bumbling newcomer on the scene--the novel works on every level. Highly recommended.”

Proustbunny (on

This Freshest Hell
by Natasha Ewendt

“I just finished This Freshest Hell. Loved it. Didn't see the twist coming at all. And that ending - holy hell! An intelligent novel, it reads at first like a YA coming of age, but it becomes so much more. I saw shades of John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Let the Right One In though the pacing is snappier. It is a little gory and some of the conversations get very dark (suitably), but I enjoyed all of that. Really connected with Lily's dilemma, and some of the latter conversations between her and best friend Maggie are very thought provoking; unexpected in a horror novel. Can't wait for the next one.”

Rowena Holloway (on

Bold, original writing that excites, entertains and informs new ways of thinking.

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