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Lachlan Dunn lifted his eyes from the book he was trying to read. He studied his uncle in the dim lamplight. “What you all done up for?”
Thaiter grinned and finished tucking his clean shirt into his trousers. “It’s me birthday. I’m off ta the Cosmopolitan for a couple.”
“Your birthday?” Lachlan laughed.
“You’ll note. I’m done right. Clean and shaven.” Thaiter did a spin and twinkled his eyebrows. “I might get lucky tonight.”

— from "Done Right" by Donna Fieldhouse

The postman dropped a bundle of mail and there’s a letter with the AIF crest, I recognised the same rising sun symbol from Uncle John’s slouch hat. Nanna concentrated for a long time, holding the thin paper out at arm’s length as if any closer would risk infection by a terrible disease hidden there. She stretched her old thin arms away from her as if trying to bring the important words into focus.

— from "Water or Speed" by Karen Lethlean

Raise the term ‘history’ in a conversation in any group and half the participants will glaze over and talk about something else. Why? Is it because they think that history is a collection of dates or stories about musty, dusty, kings? Perhaps. Or perhaps they have never come across an anthology like this one — full of good writing and intriguing plots. Knowing that a story is true or based on truth always adds a little more spice to a tale, than a straight fiction piece can ever engender. Here are eighteen unique, short stories, chosen from the Stringybark Australian History Awards. Each provides a fascinating insight into Australian history.

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