who works in publishing knows, almost everyone has written a book,
or wants to write a book or believes that they could write a wonderful
book and many of these people do actually put pen to paper and send
their work to us. As a result, every day we are deluged with an
assortment of offerings from the sublime (although unfortunately
rather few of those) to the ridiculous and everything in between,
but we only have about 30 places on our Pier 9 imprint in any given
year, and we therefore have to be incredibly selective about our
So the books
that do make it through, really have to stand out, and Don Tate’s
stunning book, The War Within, is unquestionably one of those books.
When Kay Scarlett,
our Publishing Director and I read the first draft of this book,
we were absolutely stunned. The horror of the past that was being
evoked and the raw power of the writing, were completely riveting,
if in equal measure, disturbing. Don has the rare talent of being
able to get the words on the page with a deceptive simplicity, that
not only takes you right to the time and place that he is writing
about, but also brings you inside his head, so that you are viewing
the events and the emotions through his eyes and heart, and that
is not always a very comfortable place to be. Because Don does not
spare himself or his reader. As he says in the book:
cause to seriously reflect on my life. I’d reached a point
where there’s not a lot of light, or fight left in a man.
The darkness that followed me home from Vietnam had engulfed me
From his early
childhood in Brisbane, marked by poverty and abuse, through his
traumatic experiences in Vietnam as a nineteen year old, and the
years of medical treatment that followed, then on into his adult
life, struggling to find a place in the world where he felt accepted,
The War Within chronicles Don’s attempt to reconcile some
of the forces at play in his world, and to reach some measure of
acceptance and understanding.
This is not
an easy book, and it has to be said, that Don is not always an easy
man, and when you read the book, you will understand why. But the
unrelentingly honest and open way in which he bares his soul in
this book, make it, and indeed him, truly remarkable.
This is an important
book, from an enormously talented writer and we are very proud to
be publishing it here tonight.