Fiction

The Lying Life of Adults

$32.99

Giovanna’s pretty face is changing, turning ugly, at least so her father thinks. Giovanna, he says, looks more like her Aunt Vittoria every day. But can it be true? Is she really changing? Is she turning into her Aunt Vittoria, a woman she hardly knows but whom her mother and father clearly despise? Surely there is a mirror somewhere in which she can see herself as she truly is.

Giovanna is searching for her reflection in two kindred cities that fear and detest one another: Naples of the heights, which assumes a mask of refinement, and Naples of the depths, a place of excess and vulgarity. She moves from one to the other in search of the truth, but neither city seems to offer answers or escape.

Named one of 2016’s most influential people by TIME Magazine and frequently touted as a future Nobel Prize-winner, Elena Ferrante has become one of the world’s most read and beloved writers. With this new novel about the transition from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, Ferrante proves once again that she deserves her many accolades. In The Lying Life of Adults, readers will discover another gripping, highly addictive, and totally unforgettable Neapolitan story.

The Motion of the Body Through Space

$32.99

In Lionel Shriver’s entertaining send-up of today’s cult of exercise–which not only encourages better health, but now like all religions also seems to promise meaning, social superiority, and eternal life – an ageing husband’s sudden obsession with extreme sport makes him unbearable.

After an ignominious early retirement, Remington announces to his wife Serenata that he’s decided to run a marathon. This from a sedentary man in his sixties who’s never done a lick of exercise in his life. His wife can’t help but observe that his ambition is “hopelessly trite.” A loner, Serenata disdains mass group activities of any sort. Besides, his timing is cruel. Serenata has long been the couple’s exercise freak, but by age sixty, her private fitness regimes have destroyed her knees, and she’ll soon face debilitating surgery. Yes, becoming more active would be good for Remington’s heart, but then why not just go for a walk? Without several thousand of your closest friends?

As Remington joins the cult of fitness that increasingly consumes the Western world, her once-modest husband burgeons into an unbearable narcissist. Ignoring all his other obligations, he engages a saucy, sexy personal trainer named Bambi, who treats Serenata with contempt. When Remington sets his sights on the legendarily grueling triathlon, MettleMan, Serenata is sure he’ll end up injured or dead. And even if he does survive, their marriage may not.

The Motion of the Body Through Space is vintage Lionel Shriver written with psychological insight, a rich cast of characters, lots of verve and petulance, an astute reading of contemporary culture, and an emotionally resonant ending.

The Origin of Me

$32.99

Lincoln Locke’s fifteen-year-old life is turned upside down when he’s thrust into bachelor-pad living with his father, after his parents’ marriage breaks up, and into an exclusive new school. Crestfield Academy offers Lincoln a new set of peers – the creme de la creme of gifted individuals, who also happen to be financially loaded – and a place on the swim relay team with a bunch of thugs in Speedos. Homunculus, the little voice inside his head, doesn’t make life any easier; nor does Lincoln’s growing awareness of a genetic anomaly that threatens to humiliate him at every turn.

On a search for answers to big LIFE questions, he turns to the school library, where he spies a nineteenth-century memoir, My One Redeeming Affliction by Edwin Stroud, a one-time star of Melinkoff’s Astonishing Assembly of Freaks. As Lincoln slowly reads this peculiar, life-changing book, the past reaches into his present in fascinating and alarming ways.

Ways that defy imagination . . .

Audacious, funny and wonderfully inventive, The Origin of Me is a song to friendship, to young love, to the joy of imagination, and to celebrating differences.

The Price of Two Sparrows

$29.99

Heico is an ornithologist fighting a losing battle to protect the birds in his beachside suburb. When a journalist asks for comment on a planned development, Heico exaggerates his reports on how many migratory birds use the site. Soon it is revealed that the proposed building is a mosque, and he finds himself embroiled in community resistance to the project. Still, he refuses to back down.

Nahla, Heico’s house cleaner, is trying to find her place in a new country and a new marriage. Isolated and lonely, she sees the mosque as a symbol of what she hopes to find in Australia: community, familiarity, acceptance. But as resistance to the project intensifies, she must summon the courage and the language to claim her space in this new life.

Piercingly clear-eyed and deeply insightful, The Price of Two Sparrows explores what we hold sacred and why. It delicately picks apart questions of community and prejudice, religion and nature in the modern world. This is a beautiful and thought-provoking debut from an award-winning Australian writer.

The Prophets

$32.99

With lyricism reminiscent of Toni Morrison and James Baldwin, Robert Jones Jr. tells an unflinching story of forbidden love between two enslaved men in Mississippi whose relationship threatens all around them.

In this blinding debut, Robert Jones Jr. blends the lyricism of Toni Morrison with the vivid prose of Zora Neale Hurston to characterise the forceful, enduring bond of love, and what happens when brutality threatens the purest form of serenity.

The Halifax plantation is known as Empty by the slaves who work it under the pitiless gaze of its overseers and its owner, Massa Paul. Two young enslaved men, Samuel and Isaiah dwell among the animals they keep in the barn, helping out in the fields when their day is done. But the barn is their haven, a space of radiance and love – away from the blistering sun and the cruelty of the toubabs – where they can be alone together.

But, Amos – a fellow slave – has begun to direct suspicion towards the two men and their refusal to bend. Their flickering glances, unspoken words and wilful intention, revealing a truth that threatens to rock the stability of the plantation. And preaching the words of Massa Paul’s gospel, he betrays them.

The culminating pages of The Prophets summon a choral voice of those who have suffered in silence, with blistering humanity, as the day of reckoning arrives at the Halifax plantation. Love, in all its permutations, is the discovery at the heart of Robert Jones Jr’s breathtaking debut, The Prophets.

The Rain Heron

$29.99

Ren lives alone on the remote frontier of a country devastated by a coup. High on the forested slopes, she survives by hunting and trading-and forgetting.

But when a young soldier comes to the mountains in search of a local myth, Ren is inexorably drawn into her impossible mission.

As their lives entwine, unravel and erupt-as myths merge with reality-both Ren and the soldier are forced to confront what they regret, what they love, and what they fear.

Robbie Arnott’s stunning second novel remakes our relationship with the natural world. The Rain Heron is equal parts horror and wonder, and utterly gripping.

REVIEWS
“Robbie Arnott has imagined a creature, by turns exquisitely beautiful and terrifying, the likes of which I have never seen in Australian literature.” – Jock Serong

“The Rain Heron is exquisite. Reading it feels like hearing a legend from our past, from our near future; like remembering something you had always known but somehow forgotten. It is both fantastical and deeply true.” – Jane Rawson

The Sandpit

$32.99

‘A remarkable contemporary thriller – with shades of Graham Greene and Le Carre about it – but also a profound and compelling investigation of a hugely complex human predicament. Brilliantly observed, captivatingly written, grippingly narrated – a triumph’ William Boyd

When John Dyer returns to Oxford from Brazil with his young son, he doesn’t expect to find them both in danger. Every day is the same. He drops Leandro at his smart prep school and walks to the library to research his new book. His time living on the edge as a foreign correspondent in Rio is over. But the rainy streets of this English city turn out to be just as treacherous as those he used to walk in the favelas. Leandro’s schoolmates are the children of influential people, among them an international banker, a Russian oligarch, an American CIA operative and a British spook. As they congregate round the sports field for the weekly football matches, the network of alliances and covert interests that spreads between these power brokers soon becomes clear to Dyer. But it is a chance conversation with an Iranian nuclear scientist, Rustum Marvar, father of a friend of Leandro, that sets him onto a truly precarious path. When Marvar and his son disappear, several sinister factions seem acutely interested in Marvar’s groundbreaking research at the Physics Faculty, and what he might have told Dyer about it, given Dyer was the last person to see Marvar alive.

The Silence

$29.99

It is Super Bowl Sunday in the year 2022. Five people are due to have dinner in an apartment on the east side of Manhattan. The hosts are a retired physics professor and her husband; they are joined by one of her former students and await the arrival of another couple, delayed by what becomes a dramatic flight from Paris.

In the apartment, talk ranges widely. The opening kickoff is one commercial away. Then something happens and the digital connections that have transformed our lives are severed.

What follows is a dazzling and profoundly moving conversation about what makes us human. Never has the art of fiction been such an immediate guide to our navigation of a bewildering world. Never have DeLillo’s prescience, imagination and language been more illuminating and essential.

The Unwanted Dead

$32.99

Paris, Friday 14th June 1940.

The day the Nazis march into Paris, making headlines around the globe.

Paris police detective Eddie Giral – a survivor of the last World War – watches helplessly on as his world changes forever.

But there is something he still has control over. Finding whoever is responsible for the murder of four refugees. The unwanted dead, who no one wants to claim.

To do so, he must tread carefully between the Occupation and the Resistance, between truth and lies, between the man he is and the man he was.

All the while becoming whoever he must be to survive in this new and terrible order descending on his home…

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