How to Live Well Without a Job and with (Almost) No Money
Tin House Books, Paperback, 9780982053935, 218pp.
Publication Date: January 2010
David Gates went to the Falklands at the age of 20 to become a teacher having had no experience or training in that profession. At that time (1968) not many people, including him, had heard of the islands. He had no idea of what awaited him. He spent three years travelling around that remote, windswept archipelago teaching, as he puts it, any children he could round up, teach them for two weeks and then go off somewhere else leaving enough homework to keep them occupied until his next visit. Most of the time he lived with the families of the children he taught. He travelled by horse, boat, floatplane, landrover and on foot. As a result he gained a unique insight into the place and its people.His previous work as a bank clerk in London's Fleet St., and as a civil servant working at The Ministry of Overseas Development prepared him only insofar as it bored him mindless enough to wish to go anywhere to get out of the rut he was in. Which was why, until he got his travel instructions, he believed he was going to somewhere off the north-west coast of Scotland and hadn't even bothered to look them up on a map.He says that the time he spent in the Falklands were the equivalent of a university education and National Service rolled into one. The experience, whilst testing, has made a lasting impression on him and his story of that time is a very personal and evocative memoir.
Dolly Freed is my hero.[If] this smart, engaging, funny, and frank manifestodoesn’t make you want to quit the rat race at least a little bit, then you must be one big, fat rat.”
Compulsively readable[In]this strange, engaging hymn to the laid-back life now, in 2010, one message comes out loud and clear. As the 18-year-old sage Dolly Freed wrote: I refuse to spend the first 60 years of my life worrying about the last 20.’”
--New York Times Art Beat
Dolly is a sharp writer, an autodidact and an 18-year-old of unusual competence and grit[T]here’s nothing precious about Possum Living: it's genuine in a way few books are,”
this book will not only make you laugh but might actually inspire you to embrace a simpler life.”
An elegant memoir”
--Philadelphia City Paper