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Wedding Bush Road

A Novel

List Price: $25.00

November 8, 2016 | Hardcover | 5.5 x 8.25, 304 Pages | ISBN 9781640090149

"A rich and moving and resonant story about the debts we owe to the people and places of our past, with writing so evocative that it feels like burying your face in the Australian soil. David Francis has given us a masterpiece, a novel for anyone who’s ever left their hometown." —Nathan Hill, author of The Nix

When he learns of his mother’s ailing health, Daniel Rawson must leave Los Angeles and travel half a world away to the family’s horse farm on Wedding Bush Road, one hundred miles outside of Melbourne. Estranged from his parents, Daniel is hesitant to revisit their history: long divorced, his mother still maintains the farm having put out her cheating, rakish husband, and even in these later years her anger burns brightly.

Daniel arrives at the farm in the heat of his parents’ conflict with Sharen, an alluring tenant and ex-lover of his father now perched on family land. Sharen and her unstable son Reggie complicate an already difficult family dynamic while Daniel has to tend to his mother’s condition, his father’s contentious behavior, and the swell of memory that strikes whenever he visits the farm. As Daniel is increasingly drawn to Sharen, the various tensions across the farm will spark events that cannot help but change them all.

With a keen eye for the rugged and beautiful Australian landscape, infused with aboriginal history, and set against the workings of a rural horse farm, Wedding Bush Road is a stunning novel about the choices we make, the regrets that linger, and the unquestionable, inevitable pull of home.

DAVID FRANCIS, based in Los Angeles where he works for the Norton Rose Fulbright law firm, spends part of each year back on his family’s farm in Australia. He is the author of The Great Inland Sea, published to acclaim in seven countries, and Stray Dog Winter, Book of the Year in The Advocate, winner of the American Library Association Barbara Gittings Prize for Literature, and a LAMBDA Literary Award Finalist. He has taught creative writing at UCLA, Occidental College, and in the Masters of Professional Writing program at USC. His short fiction and articles have appeared in publications including Harvard ReviewThe Sydney Morning HeraldThe AgeSouthern California ReviewBest Australian StoriesAustralian Love Stories, and The Rattling Wall. He is Vice President of PEN Center USA.

Praise

“Francis proves that this reckless landscape also has a darkly seductive pull . . . Domestic drama with an offbeat, rural flavor.” —Kirkus

“Compelling and honest, Wedding Bush Road is a masterful feat.” —Mary Rakow, author of This Is Why I Came

“Francis’s prose is urgent and at times breathless, packed with sense-rich descriptions. Poetic images swirl off the page . . . Wedding Bush Road envelopes us in a strange world where nothing can be taken for granted. This is a rich, beautifully textured novel, unforgettable in its setting and the people who live there.” —Los Angeles Review of Books

“David Francis writes with precision and sensitivity about that most complicated of subjects: Home. Amid unforgettable landscapes and characters that are both beautiful and violent, Wedding Bush Road grapples with discontent and restlessness. Francis turns a sharp but generous eye on those who won’t leave and those who can’t stay, reminding us that family can be the most dangerous place of all.” —Mark Sarvas, author of Harry, Revised

“Here’s an Australia so tactile that the page itself begins to feel textured. Francis ably tells a story of a man’s internal struggle as expressed through conflicts as rooted and primal as the soil. A dynamic and inviting read.” —Aimee Bender, author of The Color Master

“I have known David Francis and his work for a long time, and I think Wedding Bush Road is his best book yet!” —Jane Smiley

“With an eye for the transcendent detail, and a pitch perfect ear, David Francis gorgeously summons a farm in rural Australia. The wonderfully complex relationships among its inhabitants reflect nothing less than the tensions wrought by the country’s fractious history of colonialism. Who belongs to the land and to whom does the land belong? These are the uneasy questions raised by this searching, lovely novel.” —Marisa Silver, author of Mary Coin

“A psychologically acute tale of the decline of a patrician Australian family and the forces arrayed against them. Class, sex and land knit together in this compellingly modern take on a timeless struggle. Gorgeous, dangerous and utterly captivating.”
—Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander and Paint It Black

“Who hasn’t packed a bag and headed home? Wedding Bush Road is a beautiful, intelligent book about love, loss, and the unforgettable landscapes that made us who we are.” —David Ebershoff, author of The Danish Girl and The 19th Wife

“A rich and moving and resonant story about the debts we owe to the people and places of our past, with writing so evocative that it feels like burying your face in the Australian soil. David Francis has given us a masterpiece, a novel for anyone who’s ever left their hometown.” —Nathan Hill, author of The Nix

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