A compelling novel about a mysterious airport baggage handler who reveals how people are being held back in life, has won prestigious US Christian writing award.
The Baggage Handler, by emerging South Australia-based author, David Rawlings, tells the tale of three people who take the wrong suitcase from the baggage claim at an airport. Their lives change forever when they return to retrieve their bags and The Baggage Handler reveals the ways their baggage is slowing them down.
It has won the First Novel category of The Christy Award: a major US-based award celebrated in Nashville, that celebrates quality fiction books written from a faith perspective.
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A Modern-Day Parable About Letting Go
David spoke to Hope Mornings about the inspiration behind the book.
“The best way to describe it is my baggage arrived,” he said. “I was thinking about what to write next. One night I was reading and this thought arrived and it was The Baggage Handler. I grabbed my laptop and four hours later when I looked at the clock, I pretty much had the story on the screen. It was one of those moments where the story really just downloaded.”
“The concept of dealing with baggage isn’t as simple as identifying you’ve got a problem, putting it down and walking away. I think it’s a journey.”
The book that resulted, is a parable about letting go of the things that burden us. All the characters in The Baggage Handler are confronted with their emotional burdens, or ‘baggage’, and they have to make a choice whether to keep carrying it, or to put it down. The book’s discussion questions encourage the reader to reflect on their own baggage and make a choice about whether to keep carrying it.
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“The one thing I didn’t want to do is tie everything up with a bow,” David said. “In life, sometimes we do make choices that we probably shouldn’t. So I just wanted to illustrate that the concept of dealing with stuff isn’t always easy.
“Some people have told me that they read the book and they can clearly see what’s slowing them down. Other people have turned to prayer to identify it, and other people have turned to the people around them. The concept of dealing with baggage isn’t as simple as identifying you’ve got a problem, putting it down and walking away. I think it’s a journey.”
Catch the full interview in the audio player above, and find out more about David’s work at davidrawlings.com.au.