As he researches for his biography, he’s also forced to confront secrets about the recent atrocities in East Timor. A more pleasant distraction for Tom is Emjay, a New York publisher with whom he strikes up a whirlwind affair after their respective marriages break off.
To Tom’s dismay, his idyllic rainforest, and the life of his inquisitive neighbour – a colourful southern cassowary of mystical dimensions – both become endangered, and his late-blooming romance begins to fray…
David de Vaux deems himself an intentional rolling stone. That he has been an almost lifelong expatriate and inveterate traveller may in part be attributed to his birth after World War II in a non-existent country described on his birth certificate as the British Army on the Rhine. The son of a British officer stationed variously on three continents, when he was nine years old and in need of a passport, he was discovered to be a bureaucratic anomaly, and citizen of nowhere. He acknowledges blood connections with John Gay, author of The Beggar’s Opera, and the novelist Graham Greene.
A decade later, having disappointed his family by failing to embrace the expected patriotic, military, class and Church traditions, he attended the University of London and later the Newcastle College of Advanced Education in Australia. Along the way, he found gratification in the disciplines of Economics, Political Science, English literature and the theatre, especially Shakespeare.
He’s travelled and lived in New Zealand, the Tongan Islands, India, England, the United States, as well as Far North Queensland where he put down roots and raised three remarkable children. He has worked in five countries, on the fringes of teaching, publishing, editing, arts funding, house building, activism, theatre and writing, has produced two collections of poetry and a handful of play scripts, and short fiction. He and his second wife now live in Portland, Oregon, keeping at least one toe in his beloved Queensland.
Cassowary Hill is his first novel.