Down The Hume
Hachette $27.99 pb, 267 pp, 9780733635564
Peter Polites’s first novel is remarkable in its power to evoke growing up caught between conflicting cultural and sexual identities. It tells the story of Bux, a gay man haunted by his addiction to painkillers, his abusive relationship with his drug-dealing bodybuilder boyfriend, his violent alcoholic Greek father, and a childhood where his sexuality and his traditional Greek upbringing mark him forever as an outsider. The novel pulses with the frenetic life of Sydney’s western suburbs, where cultures, peoples, and languages clash. As Bux moves across the city, the stark disparity between Sydney’s multicultural west and monocultural east becomes a central theme.