David Baillie

David Baillie was born, raised, and educated in Hamilton, Ontario. He played in a couple of hardworking but (alas) long-forgotten punk bands before immigrating to the States to teach modern and postmodern literature at a down-to-earth, urban New England college prep school. He also sneaks in as much punk history as he can into anything he teaches. His first novel, What We Salvage, was a Hamilton Literary Awards finalist; like Little Bones, it draws upon Baillie’s own experiences in the boot-culture scene of the late ’80s. He currently lives in central Massachusetts with his artist/educator wife, Darcy, and a menagerie of children, dogs, and other assorted pets

Find David Baillie on:


  • Hamilton Literary Award (nominated, What We Salvage, 2015)


“If Little Bones were made into a movie, the ideal title song might be Leonard Cohen’s haunting ‘You Want It Darker,’ for both works spin acerbic, grim, but ultimately affirming narratives from the shadows that dwell in the human heart and populate the cosmos at large. David Baille’s ingeniously plotted and gorgeously written chronicle of urban nomads living on the edge deserves comparison with the best of Peter Straub, Stephen King, and China Miéville.”
—James Morrow, award-winning author of Galápagos Regained

“David Baillie writes about the marginalized, the forgotten, and the darkest of human conditions with compassion. He presents them with eloquence and magic. I aspire to be this good.”
—Lauren B. Davis, author of The Grimoire of Kensington Market

Little Bones is an exceptional book—dark, sometimes brutally so, but also beautifully written and sometimes transcendent. The ending gave me goosebumps. David Baillie is a literary treasure.”
—Elizabeth Hand, author of Curious Toys and Generation Loss

Little Bones is written with heart. This is a richly descriptive book full of mystery, hope and survival with social commentary throughout. It’s a riveting story written like punk rock poetry.”
—Johnny Blitz, drummer for The Dead Boys

“David Baillie’s What We Salvage—smart, tough, tender debut.”
—Jack Ketchum

“. . . a violent, dark, impressionistic, philosophical, poetic coming-of-age novel.”
—Treasa Levasseur for the CBC

“David Baillie’s debut novel reads like a cosmopolitan recapitulation of that famous journey into the heart of darkness undertaken by Joseph Conrad’s Marlow . . . even as the author limns a stark poetic vision that is uniquely his own”
—James Morrow

What We Salvage is a smart, simmering, coming of age punk tale with style, attitude, imagination, and even some wonder if you’re not careful. Oi, oi, oi!”
—Paul Tremblay

“[T]his is a strong debut, littered with glimpses of brilliance.”
Publishers Weekly

“Baillie has written one of the most beautiful and moving stories about raw brutality—and the things brutality can never conquer—that you’ll likely find.”

“If you are looking for a story that is more in line with bubble gum pop rock, then keep on browsing the shelf for something safer. What We Salvage is a harsh story that holds nothing back much as life holds nothing back for the characters within its cover.”