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Silent Parts

Re-released as An Accidental Soldier to tie in with the film.


Re-released as An Accidental Soldier to tie in with the film.

Every family has its secrets – and its lies. The Lamberts have Uncle Harry, who fought in World War I but never came home from France.

Each Lambert relative now clings to a different story: Harry died a hero’s death on the battlefield. Harry married a sweet French girl. Harry drowned in the mud in Gallipoli. Harry was a coward who ran from the enemy. As his great-niece Julie struggles to sift fact from fiction, she finds how easy it is to rewrite the past. Gradually Harry comes to life: the awkward boy in turn-of-the-century Australia, the obedient son caring for his aging mother, the 40-year-old bachelor, the reluctant soldier in France. Initially placid Harry’s posted out of harm’s way – but then he’s called up to the front and makes a decision that not only changes the course of his life, but changes the way he sees himself.

John Charalambous, author of An Accidental Soldier, Two Greeks, Furies, and Silent Parts

John Charalambous

John Charalambous was born and educated in Melbourne. He grew up in a culturally mixed family - Greek Cypriot on his father’s side, Anglo-Australian on his mother’s. Following an interest in painting, he obtained a teaching degree in fine arts from Melbourne State College. While teaching art in secondary schools he began to write fiction, at the same time studying literature and creative writing at Melbourne University. After spending time in Cyprus and Greece, he took up a teaching appointment in the central Victorian town of Wedderburn, where he remained for thirteen years, no longer as a teacher but running a small business. This experience of rural life became the basis for his first novel Furies, UQP, 2004, which was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Best First Book (South East Asia and South Pacific region).
His second novel Silent Parts, UQP, 2006, explores a family’s private myths about a WW1 soldier who didn’t come home. Silent Parts was long-listed for the Miles Franklin Award in 2007. John now lives in Bendigo, Victoria, where he is completing an English Honours year at La Trobe University. His third novel Two Greeks will be published in August 2011.