The reason for linking these two publications together is because both authors are well known for their television work with the ABC, though in totally different areas.
In her interview program, One Plus One, Jane Hutcheon met Linda Shum, a Queensland grandmother who was working “to improve the lives of China’s orphans”. It was an interview which refused to leave her, particularly as her own mother had been brought up by relatives, and not her own parents, in Shanghai. Her empathy with Linda was easy to explain. What was not so easy were the conditions she found that these abandoned children were forced to endure. In our society no such treatment would be accepted, let alone condoned. It makes for very painful reading. Linda Shum was determined to do something to remedy the dire situation, especially as most of the children she saw were disabled in some way. They deserved a life, and through commitment and dedication that is exactly what Linda was able to give them. Not all the stories have a happy ending, but thanks to Linda, and to Jane, we learn of them in this book, and of the people who “have the power to make a difference.” By contrast, there is a lot of humour in Eric Campbell’s account of his encounters with islands around the world, in his role as a foreign correspondent for the ABC. He whisks us to the Faroe Islands, to Kurils, to Spitsbergen, to Galapagos, to Greenland, to the Falklands, to Iceland, to the Spratlys, to Antarctica, to Cuba and to Ireland amongst many others. All of them have something unique about them, mostly slightly mad. In his racy journalistic style, we have a delightful romp amongst these faraway places, which have appealed to Campbell’s imagination. I wonder what he would make of Tasmania?
CHINA BABY LOVE by JANE HUTCHEON
PUBLISHED by ABC BOOKS for a recommended
SILLY ISLES by ERIC CAMPBELL
PUBLISHED by FOURTH ESTATE for a recommended