Exploring widely diverse settings—from the wilds of the Australian Outback to urban adventures to biblical lands—this collection of short stories, poems, and other writings celebrates what it is to be Australian. It encompasses love, revenge, debauchery, wonder, loss, and uncertainty, but a common thread of hope emerges from the colourful and eccentric writings of bush author Fairbanks.
An elder Aboriginal storyteller regales a group of eager tourists with an ancient story of betrayal, loss, and clever deception by “The Old Man in the Mountain.” In “Tjamiti Ngunytji,” an American youth is rescued by a character living in a remote outback Aboriginal community. After the devastating Black Saturday Bushfire destroyed his Victoria home and manuscripts, Fairbanks was inspired to capture the fleeting reflections of such an experience in “The Smouldering Stump.”
Life is, has always been, and will continue to be a complex thing, shaped by friendship and love bonds, ugliness and conflict, anticipation and uncertainty, comedy and joy, tragedy, mystery, and more. Above all, there is hope and beauty for those who look for it. The Old Man in the Mountain and Other Stories celebrates the many threads in the colourful tapestry of life with the quirky, sometimes irreverent Aussie sense of humour.