A compelling novel about the influence of the bleak landscape of Drybread and of a journalist who becomes personally involved with the story he's investigating there.
A graveyard is all that's left of the remote Central Otago settlement of Drybread, which miners, often hungry and disappointed, once searched for gold. It is to an old cottage nearby that Penny Maine-King flees with her young son, defying a Californian court order awarding custody of the child to her estranged husband. And seeking her in this austere, burnt country is journalist Theo Esler. He is after a story, but he discovers something far more personal and significant.
Drybread, Owen Marshall's third novel, is a moving study of love and disappointment, of the harm we do to each other, knowingly and unknowingly, of the power and significance of landscape in our lives. Rich and subtle, it is a compelling book from one of this country's finest writers.
'Marshall is held in uncommon affection by New Zealand readers - generally we admire and respect rather than love our writers.' - Peter Simpson, New Zealand Listener
'I'm an admirer of Owen Marshall's literature, with my favourite stories, chapters, etc.' - Janet Frame
'Among active New Zealand writers only Maurice Gee writes with comparable - and equally unfashionable - moral and psychological weight.' - Lawrence Jones
'I find myself exclaiming over and again with delight at the precision, the beauty, the near perfection of his writing.' - Fiona Kidman, The Dominion.