Skip to Main Content

Ben Ball Acquires New Book From The New York Times Journalist Damien Cave

Scribner is delighted to announce the acquisition of ANZ rights to Into the Rip: How the Australian Way of Risk Made My Family Braver, Happier … and Less American, by Damien Cave, a groundbreaking and timely book about how to live with risk. Scribner will publish in September 2021.


Having covered the war in Iraq and moved to Mexico City with two babies in nappies, Damien Cave and his wife Diana thought they understood about taking risks. But when they arrived in Sydney so that Cave could establish The New York Times’s Australia Bureau, life near the ocean confronted them with a new idea, at odds with their American mindset – surf-lifesaving and Nippers showed that risk might not be just a matter of individual choices. Perhaps it could be managed together, by communities. And instead of being eliminated or romanticised, it might instead be respected and even embraced.

Into the Rip is partly the story of a New York father, humbled by nature, his children and a new country, and it is partly the story of how humans manage the idea of risk. It asks critical questions like: Is safety overrated? Why do we miscalculate risk so often and how can we improve? Is it selfish to take risks or can it make for stronger families, citizens and nations? And how do we factor in major disasters like Cave has covered in his time here: the Black Summer fires; the Christchurch massacre; and, of course, Covid? 
The result is Grit meets Phosphorescence and Any Ordinary Day – a book that will change the way you and your family think about facing the world’s hazards while offering a message of hope: none of us are trapped with who we are or where we’re from. 
Ben Ball, Publishing Director of Scribner, says: ‘Sometimes it takes a newcomer – and a pandemic – to reveal our strengths to us. Into the Rip is a fresh idea, described through an immensely engaging personal story. We’re all interested in how to be happier and more resilient; Damien makes a striking new contribution to our thinking about these subjects with a reporter’s eye for a tale and the telling detail. Into the Rip is an important addition to those books that help us understand ourselves, and perhaps help us grow.’
Damien Cave says: ‘Risk is something we all have to live with – but how? I’ve been fascinated by that question for as long as I can remember, but Australia was the place that challenged and changed my thinking in ways I didn’t expect. I’m thrilled to be given a chance to tell the story of our shared struggles, triumphs and questions. Hopefully our quest to understand risk in its many forms, on land and at sea, with experts and everyday heroes, will yield a useful insight or two when risk has moved so deeply into all our lives.’  


For more information, please contact:
Anna O’Grady