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From the author of The Valley comes Out of Time, a new novel by Steve Hawke

 

About the book

Joe and Anne’s relationship has finally found the sweet spot and they are looking forward to what retirement brings. But time is not on their side. Inexplicably, Joe—a gifted architect—finds himself losing things, making miscalculations, blanking parts of his day. As Joe’s condition worsens, he and Anne face the agonising question: what is the point of no return?

Publication: August 2019
Category: Fiction
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781925815283
RRP: $27.99

 

Interview with the author

What inspired Out of Time?

I’m not sure that ‘inspired’ is exactly the right word. But I spent an awful lot of time thinking about a very personal dilemma.

Over a period of years I was witness to Alzheimer’s slowly stealing away my mother’s memory, then reason, then sense of self. When this grand theft was complete, and it was no longer possible for her to live in her real home, I was part of the process of finding and committing her to a ‘home’ as they are euphemistically called. As such places go it was a good one; but having spent many, many hours there, I am of the opinion that a dementia facility is as close to hell on earth as I’ve come across. In Out of Time I have Joe say, ‘A man with no memory, no self-awareness, no connection to those who love him. What the hell is he but a shell? I know, absolutely and deep in my guts, that that is not for me.’ It probably won’t take deep insight on the part of the reader to guess that this is pretty much my own sentiment.

Please remember that the book is about a whole lot more than just dementia, but a large part of it has come out of my exploration of the implications of holding such a view. Let me tell you, it is not a simple matter. And the more you think about it, and the further you push the hypotheticals, the more complicated it gets.

What’s your stance on the ‘right to die’ debate?

I don’t have a ‘stance’ per se. That is because it is not an either/or, black or white debate. There are endless shades of grey and ambiguities; many different places to draw lines of different kinds.

I have very little time for hardline religionists who would seek to impose their own moral code upon others. I believe in the individual’s right to make their own choices. But, although I am no expert on the issue, to the best of my understanding none of the voluntary euthanasia regimes in place or being contemplated in Australia extend to the situation of dementia sufferers. And dementia is a tricky one, to put it mildly, in the euthanasia discussion, because it is very much about mental capacity rather than physical pain and suffering. No easy answers!

There is humour, sometimes dark, in Out of Time. Was there a reason for that?

If you can’t laugh, you might as well give up. The humour isn’t there for ‘a reason’. It is there because humour and laughing are a part of life – or certainly should be. And dark humour is often the funniest kind!

 

Praise for ‘The Valley’

A big-hearted and sensitively told story’—Better Reading

‘Like Kim Scott’s Taboo, this is a story of survival, laced with great sadness, but also a gentle humour. It is a good story, well told’—Books+Publishing

‘… a powerful and often tragic family saga’—Sydney Morning Herald

‘… a remarkable achievement by a novelist old enough to know universal truths’—Herald Sun

The Valley is a generous and heartwarming story that is beautifully written, bringing the characters and country to vivid life’—writingWA

‘… there’s real pleasure to be had in Hawke’s descriptions … his exploration of the Bunuba people’s culture and their country makes for an interesting ride’—Adelaide Advertiser

‘… there is something astonishingly truthful about this story … The Valley is extremely rewarding reading’ Good Reading

‘… rich and evocative … breathtaking’—Australian Book Review

‘… masterful storytelling as powerful as the Fitzroy River in flood’—The Weekend West

 

Advances and promotional material

If you would like to share Out of Time with your social media community, we would be happy to provide you with digital assets or an advance copy of the book.

Contact cmiller@fremantlepress.com.au for any promotional material.

 

 

 

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