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Growing Pineapples in the Outback

Tony Kelly Rebecca Lister

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Queensland Univ. Press
03 March 2020
Biography; Memoirs
When Rebecca Lister and Tony Kelly move from Melbourne to Mount Isa to care for Rebecca's elderly mother, Diana, they have no idea what they've signed up for. The isolation, sweltering heat and limited employment opportunities make settling into the mining town a challenge. While Rebecca deals with her mother's declining health and delves into her own past, Tony takes on a new role in native title law.

However, caring for Diana - a witty, crossword-loving 92-year-old - proves to be a more enriching experience than either Tony or Rebecca thought possible. As they make deeper connections to the land and community, they find themselves flourishing in a most unexpected place.

Growing Pineapples in the Outback explores the highs and lows of caring for an ageing parent, while also celebrating the rewards of a simpler life.
By:   Tony Kelly, Rebecca Lister
Imprint:   Queensland Univ. Press
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 225mm,  Width: 153mm,  Spine: 18mm
Weight:   354g
ISBN:   9780702254123
ISBN 10:   0702254126
Pages:   272
Publication Date:   03 March 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Tony Kelly is a native title lawyer and is currently CEO of First Nations Legal and Research Services in Melbourne. Tony previously worked as a social worker specialising in at-risk young people and as a park ranger in the Northern Territory. Tony is a semi-regular contributor to The Big Issue with stories about open water swimming and his time in Mount Isa. Rebecca Lister is an award-winning playwright, arts producer and social worker. She is the Co-artistic Director of arts company Anvil Productions and the Education Manager of Eating Disorders Victoria. She was born and raised in Mount Isa but has lived in many places in Australia. In 2015 she returned to live in Mount Isa to look after her mother. In 2018 she was awarded the Australia Day Mount Isa City Council 'Spirit of Mount Isa' award.

Reviews for Growing Pineapples in the Outback

'This book aches with love. We are shown love for a mother as time begins to claim her and love for the red earth, the pulsing heat, the sense of home that stays in our bones no matter our travels. Growing Pineapples in the Outback is a beautiful book that eschews duty and asks us instead: what would we choose to do for those we love the most? In its pages we discover how that simple choice can open our hearts, even to the ugly scar of a rough mining town, and deliver quest and comfort. I cried. I cried for the kind of tribute we should all hope to give to our dearest: our time.' Rick Morton, author of One Hundred Years of Dirt'Relationships aren't forged in high drama, they're built through cups of tea and crossword puzzles, shared stories and shared lives. Growing Pineapples in the Outback is a gentle and sometimes tough family memoir infused with the daily acts of love that make life worth living. It's an inspirational story that redefines adventure.' Sophie Cunningham, author of City of Trees


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