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.
Crusader Hillis is a writer, editor, curator, and producer. He co-founded (with Rowland Thomson) the queer bookshop Hares & Hyenas in 1991. They have since presented over 500 literary and performance events for festivals in Melbourne and Sydney. Hares & Hyenas is now also a fully licensed performance venue presenting over 120 events per year.
Crusader’s fiction and non-fiction has been published in magazines and newspapers here and in the UK. He has had a distinguished parallel career in the arts, managing organisations and marketing teams for festivals, consulting for various major organisations, and serving on several boards and committees.