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Back Step

A match made in heaven, a love that may never be fulfilled, movie extras, the exotic culture of the Pandas, and an attempted kidnapping – this little novel has it all.

Eight people’s lives interact, not only in the everyday but also on the dance floor. A love triangle has constant interference from a past girlfriend. An academic cribs shamelessly from another’s work. Meanwhile, his partner walks out on him. Feisty Rosetta is torn between the two men she loves. Sensible Angela falls for
an awesome guy with a Harley motorcycle in pieces in his lounge room.

Continually intertwined is a love of dancing in the community of which the characters are all a part.



Bruce was born in Adelaide, South Australia and studied social anthropology at the University of Western Australia (PhD 1975). He compiled seven books of Aboriginal Australian life histories (a form of oral history). Now out of print, they include: When the dust come in between (1992), Bush time, station time (1991), Countrymen: The life histories of four Aboriginal men as told to Bruce Shaw. (1986), Banggaiyerri: The story of Jack Sullivan (1983), My country of the pelican dreaming (1981). He entered semi-retirement as part-time proofreader for a heritage office.

He is now retired and lives in Perth, Western Australia where he continues to write both nonfiction and, recently, fiction. In the 1990s he took up English studies at the Flinders University in South Australia (PhD 2004), having always wanted to extend his studies in English. Subsequently, he wrote The Animal Fable in Science Fiction and Fantasy (2010), published by McFarland & Co., and a second book, Jolly Good Detecting (2014) also published by McFarland.

Back Step is his first work of fiction. It novel is informed by the experience of many years writing non-fiction: in oral history (helpful when forming dialogue), and knowledge of literary techniques – plotting, setting, style, characterisation – learnt through the writing of his two books of criticism. He likes to think of himself as a low-key humourist.