Edition 35


  • Published 6th March, 2012
  • ISBN: 9781921922008
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

In an ever more populous, urbanised and media-saturated world, the rate and scale of disasters sometimes feels straight out of a doomsday movie. Yet behind the official inquiries and memorials of natural catastrophes, war, economic collapse and personal traumas, there are tales of renewal and hope, of those rebuilding lives and communities.

Drawing from official reports and historical records to make sense of things that couldn’t be known at the time, some of Australia’s best authors and journalists unravel the complexity and impact of natural and man-made disasters: Matthew Condon recreates the timeline and lessons from the 2010-11 Queensland floods; Sally Neighbour explores the conflicting narratives behind the Christmas Island tragedy; Sophie Cunningham uncovers the human cost of Cyclone Tracy; and Kathy Marks reports from Pitcairn Island.

Mara Bún finds ways to design sustainable recovery; Tom Griffiths calls for a new language of disaster prevention and management; Michael Gawenda investigates media responsibilities; Sidney Dekker searches for meaning in loss.

Lloyd Jones and Nic Low reflect on Christchurch’s faultlines; Ashley HayDavid Francis and Tom Bamforth find solace in mud, church choirs and aid; Jorge Sotirios reports on the Greek crisis; plus stories, poems and much more.

Surviving reveals the inspiration, myths and beliefs that sustain hope in the wake of crisis.

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