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Dropping Out: a tree change novel-in-stories by [de Valera, Danielle]
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Dropping Out:
In Dropping Out, her collection of interconnected short stories, Danielle de Valera follows the fortunes of some of those who moved to the northern rivers in the 1980s and early '90s. Many were on the run from something; others were pursuing a dream. Some outran their troubles, others went under.

 
Among the characters are two narcotics agents, both traumatised Viet Vets, who drop out after carrying out an investigation into a heroin dealer; Azure, a free spirit; the much married, hopelessly optimistic Star and her boorish, drug-dealing husband Wayne; and Wayne's supplier, Charlie Lawson, a former professor of chemistry and ex-con. They are identifiable without being stereotypes; we've all met someof them. No punches are pulled, but the tone is largely sympathetic.
 
Set in Byron Shire between 1986 and 2013, the stories give us an insight into the culture of a unique place at a particular time, a time when a sleepy paradise lost itsinnocence, when Mullumbimby became the weed capital of Australia and Byron Bay began to morph into a tourist trap. Danielle de Valera, who has lived in thearea since 1977, has heeded that old maxim: write about what you know and love, and it shows.
Dr Susan Geason  susangeason.com/



"Each thread of this collection is skillfully woven into an emotive tapestry that depicts the lives, loves and fates of some of the North Coast dropouts of the 1970s and 1980s, then broadens to conjure for the reader an unusual and ethereal vision of the future."

Shaune Lafferty Webb, author: Bus Stop on a Strange Loop, Cold Faith
shaunelaffertywebb.wordpress.com/
 
"Ms de Valera writes with literary elegance and wit."
Rosemary Creswell, cofounder CameronCreswell Agency
 
"This welcome and entertaining set of stories is a penetrating evocation of the alternative culture of the past. Roaming through detailed lives of the Northern Rivers area, it is a convincingly nostalgic recollection, possibly from the inside."
Peter Baldwin, author: Curragundi Tales
 
"There's a sense of wonder about these unique, and sometimes whimsical stories. For this American reader, it's the feeling of being a visitor to an unfamiliar universe which manages to border and overlap the more familiar one with the humanity of its characters. Disturbingly delightful."
C.S. McClellan, author: PrivilegedLives and Other Lies
amazon.com/C.S.-McClellan/e/B007I7H4KW
 

From the Author

Following the Aquarius Festival in Nimbin in 1973, many peoplecame to the Northern Rivers. For the most part, they were young. Full of hopesand dreams. Arriving with few resources, they rented disused banana-packingsheds, abandoned dairies and empty farmhouses for peppercorn rents. Most ofthem didn't have much money; some were on the dole. Nevertheless, these youngpeople and their subsequent families injected much-needed cash into the area ata time when many of the little towns were dying, empty shop fronts beginning toappear in their main streets. Brunswick Heads still had its fishing fleet andcoop, but the bottom had fallen out of the dairy industry, the whaling station atByron Bay had closed and the meatworks at Belongil was struggling to survive.The area was in the hiatus between primary production and what would eventuallybecome its lifeblood--tourism. Finding very few jobs available, the newcomerscreated cottage industries, and arts and crafts.
That was the upside. The downside was the toll the countrytook on people who were unused to it, people with insufficient financialresources and little or no family support. Some made it. Others, miles fromanywhere, sometimes on foot, went down to alcohol, drugs, psychosis and/orloneliness--Australian poet Henry Lawson knew what he was talking about when hewrote in the late 1890s about "the maddening sameness of the ... trees".

The stories in this collection were written over a period oftwenty-five years. In them, I hoped to convey the sense of a particular timenow gone, and to depict just a few of the characters who adorned the Far NorthCoast in the 1980s and onwards, and the fates that befell them. There were somany wonderful characters. I couldn't portray them all. In this book, I hope Ihave managed to recreate just a few of them.D de V

Product details

  • File Size: 1910 KB
  • Print Length: 226 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0994274521
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Old Tiger Books (October 2, 2016)
  • Publication Date: October 2, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01LXF9QEB
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,461,171 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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