Author(s): Barry Dickens
It's 1953 and Barry has been sent to stay with Nan and Pop during the school holidays while his mum waits for the new baby. Barry is six-and-three-quarters and 22 Miller Street - the last house Pop built on the West Preston street - proves full of novel experiences: there's going shopping across the Hump at dawn with Nan Dickens ('good isn't it, height,' she says, advising him 'you can look at the stars for nothing'); keeping Pop company in the shed (where he goes for his smoko 'a yellow packet of Havelock was sticking out of his back pocket'); sharing a bed with great aunt Bess (whose Anzacs are 'an indestructible mixture of oats, molassess, wheatgerm and pure will'). Oh, and finding his way to Fairyland. But then Pop dies, and Barry and his Dad can't find the deed to the house. Developers Snaithe and Sharky are circling and Bracky Boy the Bodgie is threatening the whole neighbourhood.
Barry Dickins is an established Australian author, artist, poet and playwright, known for what Mark Rubbo has described as 'the charming Dickins pathos' and an 'almost childlike naivety'. His personal account of depression, Unparrallelled Sorrow, published in 2008, was described as 'a remarkable book, beautifully written, brimming with humour and sadness'.