A bookshop in Lancaster.

Nell: Bill Oddie?

Lindsay: No, Audacity.

Nell: And is that the author?

Lindsay: That’s the title.

Nell: [Pause] I see. Could you spell that for me? I’m only helping out over Christmas, you see.

Lindsay: A-U-D

Nell: Oh, I see. It’s not something strange. It’s not something “odd”.

Lindsay: No, it’s called Audacity of Hope.

Nell: I thought it might have been a word like Oddfellow.

Lindsay: It’s actually quite a famous book by…

Nell: Because you do get people asking about anything, particularly at this time of year.

Lindsay: I expect so.

Nell: Books that are just strange and occasionally inappropriate.

Lindsay: There’s nothing inappropriate about…

Nell: I’m not saying I’d ban books, though, but I had someone who came up two days ago and asked for a book about sex. Sex education for children. At Christmas time. There’s such odd people round here.

Lindsay: That’s very different from Audacity.

Nell: According to this machine, there’s no such book.

Lindsay: That can’t be true. I’m sure you must have it. The book’s quite popular.

Nell: Well, a lot of the books I think are quite popular aren’t on display here. I’m quite shocked, really.

Lindsay: You see this book everywhere. It’s by…

Nell: You see the Bible everywhere too, don’t you? That’s a popular book. It’s not in the window display here.

Lindsay: Audacity of Hope is by Barack Obama.

Nell: The man from the United States?

Lindsay: It was written by him.

Nell: Oh. And he does books too?

Lindsay: He has written a couple.

Nell: What a wonderful advancement. That’s a wonderful advancement. I will have to look out for them.

Lindsay: But they’re not on your system?

Nell: Oh no, nothing like that.


The waiting room of a community health centre.
The visitor’s gallery of the European Parliament in Brussels.
A café in Paris, 20th arrondissement.
The paint aisle.
A downtown café.
A large hardware store.
A laneway.
A path through a forest of old cedars.
A cafe in Oregon.
A used bookstore.
In Christian heaven.
At the home of a crossword puzzle setter.
Outside a car dealership.
The Salish Sea.
A cafeteria.
In a forest.