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Buy Raft

Hybrid Publishers

Howard Goldenberg's second book, Raft, is a collection of unnerving true stories that reveal the author's experiences as a doctor in Aboriginal communities and inside an outback prison.

During a period of more than a decade Howard Goldenberg, a middle-aged Orthodox Jew, made over fifty working visits as a relieving doctor for Aboriginal communities in outback Australia. On these visits he observed and recorded the lives of the people he met and treated.

The reader meets a dehydrated baby whose mother gambles away money for food; Zachariah, whose infected elbow hasn't healed for five years; an old lady who receives a gashed head while fending off her thieving husband; and Ninnigur, one of the "Strong Women" whose tireless work helps women bring babies to term safely and to protect the next generation from malnutrition and disease.

Goldenberg writes, "Aboriginal Australians are not at peace. They are variously unwell, underfed, overfed, afflicted excessively by our lifestyle diseases, confused by our drugs and drink, endowed with income but not with work, living in sickening poverty in paradisiacal places, and distracted from their serious cultural business by the trappings of our serious cultural emptiness."

Columnist and author Alan Gold exclaims, "Raft is a delicious, warm and endearing look at a side of Australian life known personally to very few of us. Through his measured and beautifully constructed words, we are privileged to glimpse an ancient land and its people through the eyes of a perceptive and sophisticated, but essentially generous, man. This is a book which should be in every home, and every parent's gift to their children."

Author Arnold Zable writes, "Goldenberg is both observer and physician, writer and participant, tenacious in his quest for understanding and lived experience, a seeker with a passionate belief in the power of the story."

Prize-winning biographer and novelist Robert Hillman writes, "Goldenberg is a genuine artist and poet … The book works so well for three reasons: his craft, his sensibility, and his heart … a great achievement."

Howard Goldenberg is a doctor, writer, marathon runner and Olympic torch bearer. His first book, My Father's Compass, was published in 2007.

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