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  • Published: 1 October 2019
  • ISBN: 9780143795193
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 400
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Khaki Town




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 Bar 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 …’

  • Pub date: 1 October 2019
  • ISBN: 9780143795193
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 400

About the Author

Judy Nunn

Judy Nunn’s career has been long, illustrious and multifaceted. After combining her internationally successful acting career with scriptwriting for television and radio, Judy decided in the 90s to turn her hand to prose.

Her first three novels, The Glitter Game, Centre Stage and Araluen, set respectively in the worlds of television, theatre and film, became instant bestsellers, and the rest is history, quite literally in fact. She has since developed a love of writing Australian historically-based fiction and her fame as a novelist has spread rapidly throughout Europe where she is published in English, German, French, Dutch, Czech and Spanish.

Her subsequent bestsellers, Kal, Beneath the Southern Cross, Territory, Pacific, Heritage, Floodtide, Maralinga, Tiger Men, Elianne and Spirits of the Ghan and Sanctuary confirmed Judy’s position as one of Australia’s leading fiction writers.

In 2015 Judy was made a Member of the Order of Australia for her "significant service to the performing arts as a scriptwriter and actor of stage and screen, and to literature as an author".

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Spotify Playlist

Featuring Frank Sinatra, Vera Lynn, Ella Fitzgerald and more, you can now listen to the official Khaki Town playlist on Spotify


Win a Trip to Townsville

To celebrate the release of Khaki Town by Judy Nunn, we’re giving you the chance to win a trip to Townsville, including flights, accommodation and a scenic tour to experience its history and understand the inspiration behind the novel. Click here to enter.


Discover More

Q&A
The Khaki Town author answers our questions about bringing wartime Townsville to life.
Book Clubs
Transport your book club to Queensland during World War II with Judy Nunn’s exciting new novel, Khaki Town.
Book Clubs
Impress your book club with a 1940s themed party to discuss Khaki Town by Judy Nunn.

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