Skinheads. Drug dealers. Cops. For two brothers-of-circumstance navigating the violent streets of this industrial wasteland, every urban tribe is a potential threat. Yet it is amongst the denizens of these unforgiving alleys, dangerous squat houses, and underground nightclubs that the brothers — and the small street tribe to which they belong — forge the bonds that will see them through senseless minor cruelties, the slow and constant grind of poverty, and savage boot culture violence. Friendship. Understanding. Affinity. For two brothers, these fragile ties are the only hope they have for salvation in the wake of a mutual girlfriend’s suicide, an event so devastating that it drives one to seek solace far from his steel city roots, and the other to a tragic — yet miraculous — transformation, a heartbreaking metamorphosis from poet and musician to street prophet, emerging from a self-imposed cocoon an urban shaman, mad-eyed shaper of (t)ruthless reality.
David Baillie was born, raised, and educated in Hamilton, Ontario. He emigrated from Canada to the United States in 1996, and for the last seventeen years has been teaching modern and postmodern art and literature at a New England college preparatory school. What We Salvage is Baillie’s debut novel, a work that draws upon his own experiences in the post-boot culture music scene of the late ’80s-early ’90s. He currently lives in central Massachusetts with his two sons, his artist / educator wife Darcy, and her two daughters.