Edgar Williams grows up in Geelong, Victoria, in comfortable surrounds. His education at a private college enables him to enter the prestigious Australian Naval Academy. He graduates with flying colours and serves on the aircraft carrier HMAS Sydney III. Although Edgar is a champion boxer, the commander treats him badly. Edgar wonders what he has done wrong. When he wakes up after a vivid sexual dream and resorts to an unusual way of relieving himself, he is spotted by the ship’s spy. The commander relishes shaming Edgar in front of others and Edgar regretfully leaves the service. Adapting to civilian life, Edgar returns to his childhood love – the English language – and finds employment as an editor at a publishing house. As a successful publisher later in life, Edgar discovers the reason why his former commander hated him. The Publisher is a poignant, whimsical, sometimes satirical tale of a man who overcomes a shameful stigma and eventually finds his vocation.