NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF 2020 BY KIRKUS REVIEWSHAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT OF JUST RUNNING AWAY FROM IT ALL?
In Driftwood: Stories from the Margarita Road, free-spirited Americans fleeing mundane and disappointing lives head south in search of a fresh start. When they end up in Playa Paraiso-a lush, unspoiled beach town on Mexico's idyllic Caribbean coast-they discover the hedonistic and unpredictable world of the tropics.
Poppa, the savvy, irreverent owner of the local beach bar, is always willing to lend an ear and a helping hand to his fellow expats. He tells their stories of life in paradise, as together they deal with love and loss, vicious drug dealers, charming rogues, encroaching civilization, and a devastating hurricane.
The book's interwoven vignettes explore the heart's tug of war between the need for a place to call home and the desire for the freedom to roam.
Reviewers say Driftwood mixes the charm of John Steinbeck, the excitement of Joseph Conrad, and the flip-flop escapism of Jimmy Buffett-all set against a backdrop of stunning blue water and endless white sand.
Author Anthony Lee Head lived the expat life for ten years. In a fit of middle-aged madness, he traded a long career as a San Francisco trial lawyer for an unknown adventure in a foreign land. He and his wife bought a rundown hostel a few blocks from the beach in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, which they transformed into a wildly popular hotel and bar. The characters they met there became the inspiration for Driftwood: Stories from the Margarita Road.
Travelers, wanderers, explorers, and dreamers alike will see themselves in these unforgettable tales, all the while craving an icy boat drink on a sprawling beach. But be careful: if you stick your feet in the sand and come along on this journey, you may not want to go home again.
"Truly wonderful and moving tales; the author is a writer to watch." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"...a deep, empathic humanity affords each character and event vivid authenticity." Peter Coyote, bestselling author and actor
"What often starts as simply an entertaining tale ends with a message that resonates deeply. I hated for it to end. Grab a drink and a beach chair and settle in for an excellent escape." Betsy Andrews, Amazon reviewer
About the Author
Before running away from home, Anthony Lee Head was a trial lawyer, history teacher, and martial arts instructor living in San Francisco. In a fit of middle-aged madness, Tony and his wife Cheri drove 3500 miles to begin a new life in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. There they bought a run-down hostel near the Caribbean Sea, which they transformed into an award-winning hotel and bar. Living in a white sand and blue water paradise, they rented rooms, poured drinks, ate tacos, blogged about their unconventional life, practiced their Spanglish, and navigated the endless challenges of living and working in a foreign land. After a decade of inhabiting the wonderfully strange world of expats, they returned to California, bringing with them a pack of rescue animals—four dogs and six cats. After settling just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, Tony began formal practice as an ordained lay Zen Buddhist, while beginning to indulge his inner storyteller. Driftwood: Stories from the Margarita Road is his first book. He is currently working on both a new novel and a memoir based on his adventures in Mexico.
“In Driftwood, Joseph Conrad collides with Jimmy Buffett in a journey through the dark heart of Mexico’s Riviera Maya. Weaving together the tales of American expats fleeing their mundane lives in the States for crystal-blue Caribbean water—and far too many pitchers of margaritas—author Anthony Lee Head makes it all so real because he has lived that life.”
~ Bob Calhoun, bestselling author
Anthony Lee Head’s delightful book Driftwood … snuck up on me like a stealthy lover, seized me and carried me away on every page. Life in Mexico is perceived with a sense of compassion and clarity. Don’t miss it.”
~ Peter Coyote, author, actor, Emmy award winner
“As someone with an innate wanderlust and many extended years in faraway lands, this book completely transported me into the notion of, “what if I REALLY stayed? The romance and repose of an idyllic beach, the camaraderie with fellow expats, the complexities of leaving all things familiar—and the harsh truths of living in the third world. These captivating characters, on their Margarita Road, intimately escorted me beyond my own return flights. Great read.”
~ Adam Briles, producer/director of Survivor
“The setting for these sunlit, beguiling stories is Playa Paraiso, a Mexican beach town not yet overrun by high-rise resorts and franchise restaurants, and its characters are the wide range of people who come there seeking an earthly paradise. These tales of human foibles range from funny to touching, memorable to unforgettable.”
~ Cyra McFadden, bestselling author
“This debut collection of short stories features an exotic location populated by believable people … Some stories are humorous; some are poignant; some defy description … There are also “Margaritaville”-type reflections and paeans to life off the middleclass, money-grubbing grid … The author is at his best with tales that may be rooted in the local milieu but are really universal. Truly wonderful and moving tales; the author is a writer to watch.”
~ Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Steering the scene somewhere between Jimmy Buffett and John Steinbeck, Driftwood: Stories from the Margarita Road hums with hardscrabble characters washed up on a Mexican beach and the wisdom found at the bottom of a glass. More than a story…a piece of life."
~ Joel Selvin, bestselling author and award-winning journalist