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Books – Creative arts

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An Undivided Heart – An anthology of poetry by Vic Williams

by Vic Williams
New Age Publishers for the CPA, Australia, 2014
Paperback – 32 pages

My mates all call me Banjo Bill,
and sing this song as we throw and fill,
our backs are bent but our arms are strong,
and swing in time to our drawling song.

From “Banjo Bill”.

Forward by Hannah Middleton.


Harvest Time and other poems

by Vic Williams
Published by V Williams, Australia, 2008
Paperback – 81 pages

A superb collection of well known communist poet Vic William’s writings including “Harvest Time”, “Three Golden Giants”, “Forgotten Men”, “Speak for US”, “I Will Make a Bowl”, “Salute to the Cubans”, “Pablo Neruda”, and “My Baby Cries”. Vic’s poems reflect the struggles and aspirations of the working class. They deal with work, drought, economic crisis, war, internationalism, history, love and they offer hope and solutions. They are great working class poems, full of passion, strong imagery and confidence in the working class. A must on every bookshelf and a great present for anyone interested in Australian literature or who just loves good poetry.


Three Golden Giants and other poems

by Vic Williams
Published by V Williams, Australia, 1977
Paperback – 32 pages

Many readers will know Vic Williams, a veteran comrade now in his 90s living in Western Australia. Vic is one of the best working class and communist poets of Australian literature. Vic’s writing comes from a lifetime of struggle and experiences, in particular in industry and on the Fremantle waterfront.

Katharine Susannah Prichard wrote: “He fuses a passionate and sensuous vision of the earth he knows and loves with thought, direct and forceful, about everyday life and work of men and women. There is, I think, a high rare quality in Victor Williams’ poetry.”

Three Golden Giants and other poems contains some of his most popular poems. The lines: “I do not live with a divided heart. One love, one aim, once class my loyalty …” from “The Undivided Heart” are illustrative of the direct and forceful approach. In all there are 21 poems in the booklet, including “Delegate”; “Speak for Us, Pablo Neruda”; “Along the Waterfront”; and “My Baby Cries”.


The Aesthetics of Dostoyevsky

by Nadezhda Kashina
Raduga Publishers, Moscow, 1987
Hardcover – 220 pages

This book explores the aesthetic outlook of Dostoyevsky, as it found reflection in his unique literary writings. Professor Kashina concentrates on the writer’s views about art and man, and about beauty and its role in people’s lives. Dostoyevsky’s aesthetics are looked at against the background of the aesthetic theories of several of his contemporaries and predecessors in literature and philosophy. (From back cover.)


The Russian Revolution:
What Actually Happened?

Translated by Jane Sayer
Progress Publishers, English transslation 1985
Paperback – 160 pages

A Comic with a difference


Anton Chekov: Collected Works Volume Four

Translated by Olga Shartse and Ivy Litvinov
Raduga Publishers, Moscow, 1988
Hardcover – 431 pages

“Chekov’s stories, both long and short, in which there is as little sentimentality as there is moisture in an autumn leaf, these precise and accurate sketches, these graphic lessons, so indisputable in their radiant clarity, where humour is the heart’s refuge — they enter into us whether we will it or not, like the heat or cold ... . If I had not read and reread Chekov, could I ever have seen those tremendous images that are still alive in my heart? His books merged with life, life took his books by storm, the watershed between imagination and reality disappeared ... .” Elsa Triolet, writer (1896 - 1970). (From inside cover.)


Anton Chekov: Collected Works Volume Five

Translated by Kathleen Mary Cook and Ivy Litvinov Raduga
Publishers, Moscow, 1990
Hardcover – 400 pages

The fifth and last volume of this selection of Chekov’s writing contains his best known dramatic works: two one-act comic sketches The Bear (1888) and The Anniversary (1891), his first full-length play Ivanov (1887) and the four masterpieces which established him as one of the greatist dramatists of all time, The Seagull (1896), Uncle Vanya (1897), The Three Sisters (1901) and The Cherry Orchard (1903). Written a century ago these plays are as fresh and spellbinding as ever. Chekov never ceases to astound and delight with his depth of psychological insight, his ability to portray the powerful undercurrents below the surface of people’s apparently humdrum lives. (From inside cover.)


Frederick Engels: His Life and Work

Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1987
Hardcover – 466 pages

This coffee table book offers over 400 pages of historic photos and graphics accompanied by an explanatory text. As Lenin said, “The name and life of Engels should be known to every worker ... .” And what better starting point than such a great volume of rich material.

Would make an excellent gift.


King Leopold’s Soliloquy

by Mark Twain
International Publishers, New York, 1961, 1970, 2014
Paperback – 95 pages

Mark Twain is well known for his humorous writings. There is a cloak of silence surrounding his political works. This “forgotten” work, written in support of the Congo people, is not to be found in the standard collected works. It is a biting satire fired with the hate of injustice, a historic exposé of imperialism. It roused the world to the horrors of the brutal crimes of colonisation in the Congo in the early 20th century. Mark Twain took seriously the writer’s duty to be the conscience of his time. He travelled widely, “I am an anti-imperialist,” he told the press, in 1900. “I am opposed to having the eagle put his talons on any other land.”


JOHN BROWN: The Cost of Freedom

by Louis A DeCaro Jr
International Publishers, New York, 2007
Paperback – 185 pages

“John Brown’s Body” is a well known American marching song. It was sung during the US civil war and is still sung today by many progressive political activists. But how many people know much about John Brown’s life, his anti-slavery activities or the conditions of the time that shaped such a fighter’s thinking and determination? DeCaro’s book contains a wealth of interesting material, based on extensive research. The book contains a number of interesting illustrations.


5 Plays

by Michelene Wandor
Journeyman/Playbooks, London/New York, 1984
Paperback – 164 pages

As well as being a playwright for stage, radio and television, Michelene Wandor is also a poet and critic. She was Poetry Editor for Time Out from 1971-1982, and reviewed plays and books for various newspapers and journals. Her other publications include Upbeat (poems and stories, Journeyman), Understudies (on theatre and sexual politics, Methuen), and, as editor, On anthologies of plays by women, published annually.

The plays are:

  • To Die Among Friends
  • The Old Wives’ Tale
  • Whores d’Oeuvres
  • Scissors
  • Aid Thy Neighbour



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