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Judy Nunn’s new bestseller is a breathtaking historical novel set in Queensland during World War II.

Khaki Town, Judy Nunn’s exciting new novel, is inspired by a true wartime story that has remained a well-kept secret for over seventy years.

It seems to have happened overnight, Val thought . How extraordinary. We’ve become a khaki town.

It’s March 1942. Singapore has fallen. Darwin has been bombed. Australia is on the brink of being invaded by the Imperial Japanese Forces. And Val Callahan, publican of The Brown’s Hotel in Townsville, could not be happier as she contemplates the fortune she’s making from lonely, thirsty soldiers.

Overnight the small Queensland city is transformed into the transport hub for 70,000 American and Australian soldiers destined for combat in the South Pacific. Barbed wire and gun emplacements cover the beaches. Historic buildings are commandeered. And the dance halls are in full swing with jazz, jitterbug and jive.

The Australian troops begrudge the confident, well-fed ‘Yanks’ who have taken over their town and their women. There’s growing conflict, too, within the American ranks, because black GIs are enjoying the absence of segregation. And the white GIs don't like it.

As racial violence explodes through the ranks of the military, a young United States Congressman, Lyndon Baines Johnson, is sent to Townsville by his president to investigate. ‘Keep a goddamned lid on it, Lyndon,’ he is told, ‘lest it explode in our faces…’

Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9780143795179

    October 1, 2019

    William Heinemann Australia

    528 pages

    RRP $32.99

    Online retailers

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    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9780143795193

    October 1, 2019

    Penguin eBooks

    528 pages

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    • Amazon Kindle AU
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