In this Book

In the Shade of the Shady Tree
summary

 In the Shade of the Shady Tree is a collection of stories set in the Western Australian wheatbelt, a vast grain-growing area that ranges across the southwestern end of the immense Australian interior. The stories offer glimpses into the lives of the people who call this area home, as we journey from just north of the town of Geraldton to the far eastern and southern shires of the region.

Cast against a backdrop of indigenous dispossession, settler migration, and the destructive impact of land-clearing and monocultural farming methods, the stories offer moments of connection with the inhabitants, ranging from the matter-of-fact to the bizarre and inexplicable. Something about the nature of the place itself wrestles with all human interactions and affects their outcomes. The land itself is a dominant character, with dust, gnarled scrubland, and the need for rain underpinning human endeavor. Inflected with both contemporary ideas of short fiction and the “everyman” tradition of Australian storytelling, this collection will introduce many readers to a new landscape and unforgettable characters.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. iii-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-xx
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. p. xxi
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  1. rain
  2. pp. 1-5
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  1. purchase
  2. pp. 6-14
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  1. the fireball
  2. pp. 15-19
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  1. carcass
  2. pp. 20-25
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  1. mange
  2. pp. 26-31
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  1. the cartesian diver
  2. pp. 32-35
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  1. memorial
  2. pp. 36-43
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  1. a load of bricks
  2. pp. 44-50
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  1. the pact
  2. pp. 51-56
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  1. the porch
  2. pp. 57-60
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  1. embarrassed
  2. pp. 61-68
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  1. baby
  2. pp. 69-74
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  1. the garden
  2. pp. 75-79
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  1. the vacant block
  2. pp. 80-86
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  1. the house near the cemetery
  2. pp. 87-94
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  1. the appointment
  2. pp. 95-99
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  1. the fable of the gravel pit
  2. pp. 100-103
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  1. the donation
  2. pp. 104-108
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  1. dozer
  2. pp. 109-113
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  1. the graduation
  2. pp. 114-119
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  1. bad credit
  2. pp. 120-124
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  1. rule in favor
  2. pp. 125-128
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  1. cave visit
  2. pp. 129-133
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  1. bats
  2. pp. 134-139
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  1. in the shade of the shady tree
  2. pp. 140-147
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  1. drive
  2. pp. 148-152
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  1. eyewitness
  2. pp. 153-157
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  1. the purple suit
  2. pp. 158-163
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  1. parade
  2. pp. 164-167
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  1. sissy
  2. pp. 168-173
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  1. the life history of a wheatbelt music teacher
  2. pp. 174-179
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  1. the offering
  2. pp. 180-183
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  1. the legend of the boat
  2. pp. 184-190
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