Patrick White

is creating A book called Guttersnipe




per month


Joe was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in June 1956. His Scottish father and English mother had immigrated to South Africa where they met, married and had three children, two years between each.
Joe was the youngest, and shortly before his first birthday his mother and father part company in a fractious divorce, and Joe loses contact with his father. Due to the trauma Joe becomes unable to speak for a year.
Joe’s mother, with three young children in tow, marries a younger man, but is still filled with pure hatred for her ex-husband and deeply convinced her youngest son is the mirror image of his father, a clone in thought, mind and deed.Carrying her rage and indignation into her new marriage, she forms the new relationship into a folie a deux and over the following ten years Joe is verbally abused and beaten daily by his mentally disturbed mother and her new husband, She obsessively believes that a good thrashing and immediate corporal punishment will bring the ‘bad egg’ to heel.Joe is constantly criticized and shown to be an example of failure in front of his older sister and brother, who also remember the fractious divorce, but from the immature eyes of a three and five-year-old.His siblings, desperate to please the foul tempered mother, join force to demean Joe in order to show support for their mother. Joe becomes the scapegoat of any misdemeanor and eventually they take this malevolent attitude from the home into the school where other bullies await their turn to continue the abuse. Inevitably, the world young Joe lives in becomes the eye of the needle through which he must flee to survive.

This book takes you on a poignant and often painful journey of a young boy who, at the age of twelve, reaches an emotional melting point, and in a desperate moment he decides to run away from home, blindly resolving to take on the seedy world of street life in South Africa. He lives on his wits along the seafront playgrounds and amusement parks of Durban of the late Sixties and early Seventies. Now a fugitive in a society that sees a runaway child as a ‘misfit’, he encounters all levels of sleaze and depravity, and experiences extreme treatment at the hands of the police, often captured, beaten and locked away, and punished in all manner of institutions, including an asylum, Fort Napier, and Excelsior, a secretive, so-called ‘place of safety’.

Once a newspaper - The Sunday Tribune - claimed that he had left the country and fled to Mozambique, calling him the ‘Child Houdini’ for his ability to snap free from captivity.Joe is not seen for months as he lives on the charity of others, often going without food for weeks. It is dangerous when you do not feel hunger anymore. Living rough, he sleeps under structures in the dust, cold in the dark and the rain, always searching for a new life, NEVER once wishing to return home.

This is about a young boy growing into manhood as a vagrant child for many years on the streets and beaches, surviving cruel indignities and dire living conditions, and sometimes experiencing incredible kindness from unexpected places. But through it all he still strives for civility, peace and love.
This hopefully will be part one of a trilogy based on my truth from memory, names of the living have been changed.
$0 of $4,000 per month
This will be used to publish the first 100 hard cover editions of Guttersnipe, the manuscript is edited and ready for the final layout and finish edits as of now so I need to collect funds to achieve the next step.
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