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About the Author: Bryce Courtenay

I was born illegitimately in 1933 in South Africa and spent my early childhood years in a small town deep in the heart of the Lebombo mountains.

It was a somewhat isolated community and I grew up among farm folk and the African people. At the age of five I was sent to a boarding school which might be better described as a combination orphanage and reform school, where I learned to box - though less as a sport and more as a means to stay alive.

But I survived to return to a small mountain town named Barberton in the North Eastern part of the country.

Here I met Doc, a drunken German music teacher who spent the next few years filling my young mind with the wonders of nature as we roamed the high mountains. His was the best education I was ever to receive, despite the scholarship I won to a prestigious boy's school and thereafter to a university in England where I studied Journalism.

I came to Australia because I was banned from returning to my own country.

This was due to the fact that I had started a weekend school for Africans in the school hall of the prestigious boy's school I attended.

One day the school hall was raided by the police who then branded me a Communist as they considered educating Africans a subversive act.

While studying journalism, I met a wonderful Australian girl.

"Come to my country!" Benita invited.

I did, and soon after arriving in Australia, married her. Benita gave me three splendid sons, Brett, Adam and Damon. Brett, who married Ann has given me three lovely grandsons, Ben now 14, Jake is about to turn 12 and Marcus is almost 6 years old.

I have lived all my Australian life in Sydney (the nicest place on earth) and, until I started writing fiction, made my career in advertising working as a copywriter and creative director.

At the age of 55 I decided to take the plunge. I had been telling stories since the age of five and had always known I would be a writer some day, though life kept getting in the way until I realised that it was either now or never.

Bryce Courtenay died at his home in Canberra, Australia. He was 79.

Courtenay is survived by his second wife Christine Gee and his children Adam and Brett.

Other books by Bryce Courtenay

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Goodreads rating: 3.72

Paperback, Published in Mar 2012 by Penguin

ISBN10: 0143205617 | ISBN13: 9780143205616

Page count: 582

Enter a dark and dangerous world . . .

Simon Koo is an ambitious Australian-born Chinese young man who goes to Singapore in the mid-sixties to work for Samuel Oswald Wing, an advertising agency. But the Wing brothers, who run the agency, are not what they seem. There is soon trouble when Simon falls in love with the forbidden Mercy B. Lord, the illegitimate daughter of a Japanese officer and a Chinese mother who abandoned her on the doorstep of a Catholic orphanage.

With no family or connections, this beautiful young woman is powerless to resist the evil influence of Beatrice Fong, a manipulative businesswoman, who, in league with the Wing brothers, lures her into the dark and dangerous international trade in sex workers and heroin trafficking involving the American CIA. Simon, an unlikely hero, must save her at any cost.

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