Acclaimed Author Dr Anita Heiss to Launch Japanese Edition of ‘Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms’ at Avid Reader

Avid Reader Bookshop in West End will welcome Dr. Anita Heiss, marking the release of the Japanese translation of her critically acclaimed novel, “Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms.” 



The new edition coincides with the 80th anniversary of the Cowra breakout, a significant event in Australian history where Japanese prisoners of war escaped their compound. Heiss’s novel intertwines this historical backdrop with a poignant love story between a Japanese soldier and a Wiradjuri woman.

Photo Credit: Anita Heiss/ Facebook

Set against the backdrop of wartime Australia, the novel follows Hiroshi, a Japanese soldier who finds refuge in the Erambie Aboriginal mission after the breakout. There, he forms a deep connection with Mary, the daughter of the community leader, Banjo Williams. Their burgeoning love faces challenges not only from the ongoing war but also from the systemic restrictions and prejudices of the time.

Originally published in 2016, “Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms” garnered significant recognition, earning high placements in several literary awards. The Japanese edition, featuring new cover art, allows the story to resonate with wider audiences.

Dr Heiss shared her inspiration for the novel, stating her fascination with how different cultures document history and the lack of representation of the Aboriginal community in the narrative of the Cowra breakout. She sought to shed light on the shared history of Cowra, highlighting the struggles faced by both the Aboriginal people and the prisoners of war.

On the 27th of June 2024, the event at Avid Reader Bookshop will feature a discussion with Dr. Heiss, translator Noriko Oka, and editor Donna Weeks. Free bookings are essential for this unique opportunity to delve into the novel’s themes and the process of bringing it to a Japanese audience.

The Japanese edition is part of Ligature’s Untapped project, which aims to revive out-of-print Australian classics through e-books and new print editions. Ligature founder Matt Rubinstein expressed his pride in supporting projects that celebrate Australian stories and make them accessible to new generations.



Following the Avid Reader event, readers can explore the diverse culinary scene of West End. Nonna’s Nightmare offers traditional Italian fare with a modern twist, while Vegan Restaurant West End caters to plant-based preferences. For those seeking

Published Date 17-June-2024

Avid Reader Bookshop in West End to Host ‘Harry Potter’ 20th Anniversary Edition Launch

Twenty years ago, author J.K. Rowling released the fourth series of her best-selling “Harry Potter” fantasy novels. To celebrate this milestone, a 20th Year Anniversary Hogwarts Edition of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” will soon be available at the Avid Reader Bookshop in West End.

On Thursday, the 23rd of Jan 2020, Avid Reader Bookshop in collaboration with next-door neighbour Where The Wild Things Are Bookshop, will be hosting a launch party for this special edition release. Happening from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., the event will feature award-winning illustrator Levi Pinfold as the resource speaker, who will share some behind-the-scenes tidbits of illustrating special edition releases.

The Forest of Dean talent won the prestigious CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal in 2013 for his “Black Dog” picture book. He was also awarded the Amnesty Honor at the 2018 CILIP Kate Greenaway Awards.

Photo Credit: Avid Reader Bookshop/Facebook


Fans keen on getting a copy of the “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” 20th Year Anniversary Hogwarts Edition during the launch will receive Mr Pinfold’s specially designed crests of the four houses: Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff. Included in the book is a bonus content about the reader’s favourite house. 

Before Mr Pinfold’s talk, the bookshops will be running a series of “Harry Potter” fun activities:

WHATWHEN
Wand Making Workshop 2:00 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Triwizard Trivia – Trivia for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Guests are also free to grab any book to read in between the activities or have some bite at the cafe.



Avid Reader Bookshop opened in West End in 1997. By 2004, the bookstore moved to its current location in Boundary Street and opened a cafe and events place for launches, signings and book club meets. 

Where the Wild Things Are is the bookstore’s kids section and specialty shop, which opened in 2015.