Anglo-Australian Nice Arms Pete, already a character with more freedom of mobility than his boyfriend, is able to abandon Bux (the protagonist) in an instant, walking away from their messy home and their relationship. ‘I thought I was in love but he was a settler. Like all settlers he needed to get in, plant stuff in the ground that wasn’t his and move on.’ Bux, on the other hand, cannot leave. For Bux the injunction that he remain and endure is very clearly connected to the migrant family experience.
Characteristically nuanced analysis of gender and sexual identity, migrant experience and class situation in Peter Polites’ debut novel Down the Hume.