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submitted by Greek-Australian Cafe Culture on 03.01.2012

The mango tree, 1974

After the pictures on Saturday nights the town made for Comino’s to eat mud-crabs that turned brick red when boiled or grilled trumpeter or steaks heaped with onions while Georgi, his coat off and gold watch-chain hung with medallions across his waistcoat, his thin hair plastered in strands across his polished skull, moved among the tables, laughing and shouting orders, while Momma, only five feet one inch high and almost as wide, and strapped in corsets that lifted her large breasts under her chin and almost choked her, sat behind the till and smiled at the room as she breathed deeply and smoked a black cigar, an eccentricity the town endured because everyone liked Momma and because she was only a Greek.

From Ronald McKie, The mango tree, Sydney, Collins, 1974

Ronald Cecil Hamlyn McKie (11 December 1909 – 2 May 1991) was an Australian novelist. He was born in 1909 in Toowoomba, Queensland. After receiving his education at the Brisbane Grammar School and the University of Queensland, he worked as a journalist on newspapers in Melbourne, Sydney, Singapore and China. He served in the AIF during World War II from 1942–1943, following which he served as war correspondent for several Australian and UK newspapers. After the war he worked for the "Sydney Daily Telegraph".

Awards: Miles Franklin Award and FAW Barbara Ramsden Award for The Mango Tree, 1974, (joint winner)



The Mango Tree (1974)
The Crushing (1977)
Bitter Bread (1978)


Bali (1969)
We Have No Dreaming (1988)


Proud Echo (1953)
The Heroes (1960)
Malaysia in Focus (1963)
Singapore (1972)
Echoes from Forgotten Wars (1980)


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