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Dear Readers,

Bryce used to say to me that “losing a close family member became harder as the years went by”.

A sobering thought as this week marks four years since Bryce passed away on November 22nd, 2012 aged 79 years.

When someone we love passes away we are left with cherished memories which continue to inspire and guide us.

Bryce asked me what I would do after he had gone. I replied...
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Dear Readers,

We feel terribly sad. Bryce’s beloved cat ‘Mushka’ passed away on Monday, October 31st after a long illness. Our pets become integral members of the family and give us much more than we give them.

In September 2007 Mushka came out of the bush when we were still living in the Yarramalong Valley. She was hungry, covered in fleas and desperate for a home. ‘Mush’ went on to...
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Dear Readers,

Like many of you Bryce was passionate about animals and our own little family consisting of four cats and a dog were hugely loved. Bryce would say with a big smile, “they are spoilt beyond reason”.

I am certain Bryce would have loved to have written a novel with beloved creatures as the central characters!

As you will recall Bryce had a hugely generous heart and regularly...
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Dear Readers,

Thank you for your 'Favourite Spring Flower' comments and photos.

We were especially touched by Des O'Neill's thoughts of Faye.

Des ONeill
Laying here with thoughts of Faye,
Missing sleep in a somber way.
I think of her, what flower I'd share,
Would have to dazzle with lots of flair.
Bright colours, many, flow from within,
They whirl about, dance and spin on whim.
Like the...
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Dear Readers,

Spring has sprung, and with it Bryce’s beloved sunflowers are reaching for the sun.

Bryce devoted a chapter to these flowers in his last book, 'The Silver Moon’. The Chapter is called 'And God Created a Flower and Named it After the Sun'.

Bryce wrote, ‘You possibly haven’t given a great deal of thought to that most unpretentious flower of them all - the sunflower. ...
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Dear Readers,

Thank you for all your wonderful stories and comments for our special 'Father's Day' Giveaway and our apologies for the delay in posting our favourite three reader comments.

***Laurie Barr ***
Four Fires. All fathers aren't perfect, like Tommy, but we all have one and Bryce understood and expressed that type of relationship perfectly with the tale he told. Thanks Bryce! ...
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Dear Readers,

Bryce always believed that having a family was his most cherished life experience.

This weekend many of you will be celebrating Father’s Day, and no doubt books will be high on your list as gifts.

Bryce’s books had universal appeal but many of his male readers were especially drawn to titles including: Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Brother Fish, The Story of Danny Dunn, and Four...
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Dear Readers,

Thank you for your wonderful and heartfelt messages following my previous post.

Bryce once visited Nepal and only wished he had spent more time there trekking as I have done. Bryce always supported my role as a Board member of the Australian Himalayan Foundation.

For any Melbourne readers with a passion for the Himalayas you may be interested in attending our Gala Dinner on...
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Dear Readers,

Bryce and I used to say, "we shared a birthday” as mine is on August 13th and today Bryce would have been 83 years old!

I asked Bryce not long before he passed away, if he had more time what would he like to do? He grinned and said, “I’d probably write another book.”

We can simply remain grateful that he wrote so many. A staggering 21 books in 23 years, which continue to give...
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Dear Readers,

How many of you have read ’The Family Frying Pan’?
'Like folk tales of old, these will make you laugh and make you cry. And make you realise that, for better or for worse, we are still the one human family.’

How apt this beautiful story is in these challenging times as refugees around the world continue on their weary way, in search of a better life. Bryce wrote, 'theirs...
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Dear Readers,

Even Bryce thought that ‘Brother Fish’ was too big a book!
He later said that it really could have been two books.

Many Korean War veterans were so happy the story of the conflict had been remembered in a Bryce Courtenay novel, which would ensure many readers would finally learn about what happened.

How many of you have read ‘Brother Fish’?
I would love to know what...
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Dear Readers,

Thank you to everyone who shared photos of their favourite 'moggies'. Wonderful characters and stories, and so many lucky cats which have been rescued and adopted by forever families.

We loved reading about Lynda Macgregor's beloved cat 'Trim'.
'This is my cat Trim. I was reading Matthew Flinder's Cat when we found him and he is just my perfect impression of Bryce's...
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Dear Readers,

Winter is a good time for reading. Sitting by a cozy fire with a warm drink and a good book is hard to beat.

Whenever I go past the State Library in Sydney I can’t resist looking for the statue of ’Trim’ the cat who sits on the building's ledge and provided Bryce’s inspiration for ‘Matthew Flinder’s Cat’.

Speaking of cats, Bryce’s favourite cat was ‘Mushka’ a little grey cat...
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Dear Readers,

What a wonderful response to our special 'African Gift' and thank you to everyone who shared their experiences of reading Bryce's African novels. Stacey and I really enjoyed reading all your comments.

We especially enjoyed reading the comment from Jeannie Dettori who wrote - 'African history from the ground up, voiced from the soul within, one who loved his country, watched...
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Dear Readers,

When Bryce wrote about Africa the words flowed.
Even after living in Australia for over fifty years he could always feel the dust of Africa in his pores.

We went to South Africa together in 2010 and loved it, although when I asked him if he would like to live back there he said ‘I want to go home to Australia, as this place has too many bad memories for me”, and so we...
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Dear Readers,

This week Sydney-siders can enjoy dozens of events during the Sydney Writers Festival.

Many years ago Bryce ran a writing course for the festival, and the tickets were sold out within a few hours.

If you were writing a book I would love to know what your story would be about?

Bryce used to say that ‘one writer in the family was enough’ so I am still pondering the idea of...
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Dear Readers,

Bryce always felt that women carried the burden in most families and he tried to honour that with strong female characters in his novels.

Jessica and Sylvia being striking examples but there were many others too, including the lovely Anna in 'The Persimmon Tree'.

I would love to know what are your favourite female characters in Bryce’s novels?

What a wonderful way to...
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Dear Readers,

As the Dawn of another Anzac Day beckons I recall how many of Bryce’s novels were set to the backdrop of theatres of war. Four Fires, The Persimmon Tree, Matthew Flinders Cat, and Smokey Joe’s Cafe.

Stacey Truscott, our extraordinary BCI Manager has recently founded the ‘Boots ’n All Choir’ with her husband Chuck who returned from deployments with the Australian Air Force in...
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Dear Readers,

Stacey took this photo this morning of our special 'Sylvia Giveaway' sprouting from a pot plant with Ophelia, Bryce's beloved cat sneaking into the shot, lazing on the lawn.

So often when Bryce would conduct media interviews, or we would have photo shoots in our beautiful home and garden, the cats and Tim the dog would give a cameo appearance.

Bryce never shooed them away,...
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Dear Readers,

It is always wonderful to read your comments, and I know that Bryce would have been so thrilled and humbled that his writing meant so much to you.

Stacey from our BCI office and I would like to know, 'What is your favourite line or single sentence from one of Bryce’s books?'

One those favourites may well be “This is what happened” the opening sentence in 'The Power of...
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