A Bird on My Shoulder
An unforgettably moving memoir about love and the
unexpected gifts that loss and grief can bring

'What do you think are the gifts of cancer?'
Even now, all these years later, when I recall the question, a sense of shock still resonates.
I thought of Julian's gruelling treatment regime, about how all seven of his children were coping seeing him so unwell, so reduced.
Then, in the silence that followed, like the first sprouting of a tiny plant, I began to think about all the good things that Julian and I had experienced because of his illness; amid the strain and fear we had shared precious moments of love and kindness that might not have otherwise happened.
I began to cry.
'Perhaps you could think of Julian's cancer in another way,' the counsellor suggested. 'Maybe it's like a little bird on your shoulder that's reminding you how to live.'
Over a decade ago, award-winning journalist Lucy Palmer lost her beloved husband Julian, leaving her alone to raise their three young children on a farm south of Sydney.
This beautifully written memoir tells the story of how Lucy and Julian fell in love with each other and with Papua New Guinea, and traces their family's return to Australia to face the daunting challenges of Julian's journey with cancer.
Looking back with both sadness and joy, Lucy's honest and thoughtful account of finding hope and meaning where none seemed to be, will move and inspire all who read it.
A Bird on My Shoulder offers us new and surprising ways to think about love and death, about the worst that can happen and what it can mean.

"A Bird on My Shoulder' is a stunningly, painful, wonderful, extraordinary book. It spilled and filled my cracked heart. It contains incredible insight into the power of grief and it is so beautifully beautifully beautifully written
Sarah Macdonald, best selling author of ‘Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure'


Playing the Game 
Life and Politics in Papua New Guinea Sir Julius Chan

An insightful and candid memoir from one of Papua New Guinea's founding fathers. Written and edited by Lucy Palmer and published by the University of Queensland Press. Released March 2016.

Born on a remote island to a migrant Chinese father and an indigenous mother, Julius Chan overcame poverty, discrimination and family tragedy to become one of Papua New Guinea's longest-serving and most influential politicians. His 50-year career, including two terms as Prime Minister, spans a crucial period of the country's history, particularly its coming of age from an Australian colony to a leading democratic nation in the South Pacific.

Playing the Game is Chan's own account of the role he played during these decades of political, economic and social change. It also explores the vexed issues of increasing corruption, government failure, and the unprecedented exploitation of PNG's precious natural resources. This compelling memoir of Julius Chan's private and political lives offers a rare insight into the building of a nation and the extraordinary challenges facing Papua New Guinea.

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