Peter Ross is an old colleague of mine. He's also a writer I hugely admire, whether as a feature writer, interviewer or author. Needless to say, I was chuffed that he interviewed me for The Sunday Herald, my old newspaper in Scotland, about my book.Read More
And You May Find Yourself (2015. Sleepers Publishing) is the hilarious and harrowing account of an émigré in Melbourne, in search of a job so that his young family can live, and desperately at odds with his new-found role as a father and bread-winner. Living in his in-laws' lounge room with mounting disgust growing between him and his wife and a tenuous hold on an emotional connection with his two children, Paul's life is cramped, poor, and seemingly adrift from the future he thought he would have for himself.
"A fascinating and startlingly frank exploration of contemporary masculinity." James Bradley, The Australian.
“Honest, raw, hilarious, melancholic. Impeccable writing. Compelling storytelling. Paul Dalgarno writes like The Blue Nile’s Paul Buchanan sings. Quite a ride.” Catherine Deveny, writer and comedian.
"In this unflinching examination of his life, Dalgarno grapples with his father's legacy and the dark side of being an Aberdonian." Fiona Capp, The Sydney Morning Herald.
"Haunting in its honesty. Dalgarno's depiction of the difficulties of a new country, new job and new family is compelling." Michelle See-Tho, The Daily Review.
"Dalgarno writes with hostility and anger, but the prose is often tender, and always candid […] Tiny tragedies are drawn with weight and sensitivity." Daniel Juckes, Australian Book Review.
"For proof that in capable hands drama does not need the largest of stages and that everyday lives contain multitudes, look no further." Edd McCracken, Book Riot.
"This story is as real as it gets and all with an internal soundtrack playing quietly in the background: When it comes it changes your life." Declan O'Reilly, Writerul Books.
"Whether it's dealing with a second-hand rustmobile for a car or grappling with the hateful relationship he has with his own dad, Dalgarno's candour is humbling." Thuy On, The Sunday Age.
"A moving book with moments of hilarity and a real ability to engage. [...] Paul’s book has changed me." Clint Greagen, author.
"Honest, entirely original, and often hilarious – one man’s coming to terms with his new country, and himself.” Gay Alcorn, Guardian Australia.
AND YOU MAY FIND YOURSELF IS AVAILABLE FROM:
And others ...
What I’m about to write might be obvious if you’ve ever published a book; if you haven’t, and have no intention of doing so, you can stop reading now. If you think you might write a book, or are in the process of writing your first, with a view to publication, it might be of passing interest. But even that’s not guaranteed. You can duck out here. I don’t mind. I really don’t.Read More
I’ve lived a life, since being a teen, where I believed in the idea of meritocracy, as sold by Tony Blair’s New Labour in the 90s. That has seen me try all sorts of things that would have traditionally been considered above my station, but it’s also led to the inevitable conclusion that meritocracy is a trick. Cultural capital – which I’ve never had much of – is the thing: without that, one way or another, you’re screwed.Read More
"Relocating from the other side of the world, finding accommodation, employment challenges, a marriage, two young children ... " So begins David McLean's interview with me on Published or Not by 3CR. While chatting to David about And You May Find Yourself a couple of things became immediately obvious:Read More
At no point – until I was told otherwise – did I think of And You May Find Yourself as a memoir. Over the course of my life I must have read, conservatively, 250 novels for every memoir – which is nothing against memoirs: that's just what I’m drawn to. Even though some of my favourite books are memoirs, the idea of me writing one, if I’d even considered it, would have seemed hopelessly self-indulgent.Read More
In the year since she pretended to die, I hadn't dreamt of my mum even once, but a year and a week after the fact – which is to say, a few days ago – I did.
In the waking hours beforehand I'd attended my Australian citizenship ceremony – an occasion of pride, introspection and and mounting hunger. The event was at 6:30pm, at Coburg Town Hall. On the drive there I was clock-watching. I had to get my citizenship certificate; it needed to go off without a hitch: I had to present it the following morning at the passport office to have even a fighting chance of getting a passport turned around within three working days so that I could fly to Chile, which on that same day had been hit by a massive earthquake.Read More
Although I've been counting down the days to publication since, oh, I was 12, and the date seared into my brain was September 1, my book has broken ranks and found itself in a couple of book shops.
As a journalist, breaking embargo to go early with a story is a no-no. You don't do it, or you do it knowing you'll incur the wrath of whoever set the embargo.Read More
I did and didn't want to go to the annual Text Publishing party in Melbourne last night. Mostly I did – I'd been looking forward to it since the invite landed, but it had been a long day, starting with a breakfast meeting 12 hours before the party was due to begin.Read More
This'll be a short post cos I'm writing it during my lunch break and my lunch breaks tend to be ten minutes long, give or take a second. If there's food on any of this as you're reading it, sorry.
Also I'm tired. I had to speak Spanish at a high-level business breakfast this morning. I struggle to speak English at high-level business events. I struggle to speak English or Spanish while having breakfast.Read More
I thought I was dying last night. It went like this.
I met a friend at the Malthouse for the opening-night performance of Antigone. The bar was full of people talking and laughing. I hugged my friend, talked, laughed, said how hungry I was. She'd already ordered food. I went up to order some too, realised it was expensive, that I didn't want to spend that much money, bought a bag of crisps instead.Read More
In seven days my book will be published. That's never been the case before. I'm nervous, and emotional in ways I hadn't expected.
A few evenings ago I met the author Clint Greagen, of Reservoir Dad fame, who will launch my book on September 10, and wrote a wonderful blurb on its cover. I drove to his house – in Reservoir, of course – listening to an audiobook version of Wuthering Heights, trying not to think about how nervous I was, wishing I was Emily Bronte and my book was still being listened to by soon-to-be-authors 168 years after publication.Read More
I attended the ceremony via my brother-in-law’s mobile phone. He held it in his hand, in the front row, the camera forward-facing. A celebrant who hadn’t known you gave a speech based on what my sister and grandfather had told her. And then my sister read out the speech I’d written, a thinly disguised excuse letter for my absence.Read More
I watched the second debate – held a couple of weeks ago – on YouTube from my bed in Melbourne. For those 90 minutes, I could have been in Aberdeen, Inverness, Edinburgh. But the next morning, I got up and cycled to work in Australia.Read More
I’ve thought about procuring a Popper Stopper, those circular, black things on the front of microphones – with the help of a bendy coat hanger, I could wear one like a harmonica holder, like Bob Dylan, except I’d look like a proper prick.Read More