What We’re Reading: Price, Pleitez and Awad

Each week we bring you a sample of the books we’re reading, the films and TV shows we’re watching, and the music we’re listening to.


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Julia Jackson is reading What Red Was by Rosie Price

Look out world! Rosie Price has landed! Her debut novel, What Red Was, is an assured piece of writing. While she appears to enter familiar territory with Kate and Max’s close friendship, echoing the friendships between Sebastian and Charles (Brideshead Revisited) and Nick and Toby (The Line of Beauty), and their dysfunctional-yet-attractive families, Price deftly swerves away from the bucolic and into the real when Kate is sexually assaulted by one of Max’s relations at a party. At the heart of the novel is the fallout: Kate’s psychological and emotional responses to her assault and her gradual recovery, which Price (did I mention she’s a debut author?!) tackles with nuance and empathy. The Guardian reviewer talked about the author’s emotional intelligence with this book, and I have to agree. This is really well-executed: strong characters, great plot, superb writing.


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Georgia Brough is reading Bunny by Mona Awad

Samantha is a student in an elite writing school with a glorious reputation. She doesn’t quite fit in with the Bunnies, though, those saccharine sweethearts in her class with the Game of Thrones braids, the dolly dresses, the Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath devotion, and the perfumes that smell like cupcakes. But when the Bunnies take her under their wing, she will be swept up in an obsession and carried down the rabbit hole into a world overwhelming and deadly. I love contemporary fiction – I’m having a real binge of it right now – because it gives so much scope to play with form and tone. and Awad’s Bunny does just that. It’s subversive, witty and dark (sometimes downright strange), and plays with ‘self’ in a very Bret Easton Ellis kind of way. When Sam is caught up with the Bunnies, she stops thinking of herself as an ‘I’ and more as a ‘we’. Sometimes that’s on the nose, sure, but it works. It reminded me of the deviation from first to third person narration in American Psycho. Bunny’s kind of like Jennifer’s Body meets Dead Poets' Society – intoxicating, all-encompassing friendships with a unique literary twist. Catch it in July.


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Ellen Cregan is reading On the Sunday, She Created God by Gerii Pleitez

I’ve been reading On the Sunday, She Created God by Gerii Pleitez. This slim volume is a raw, exciting novella with a really strong sense of voice. It follows two young women living wild and artistic lives in Sydney, both coming of age and struggling to figure out who they are and what they want to do in the world. Pleitez’s prose is punchy, and reminiscent of one of my favourite contemporary Australian authors, Jamie Marina Lau, or the late, great Kathy Acker. As well as being an author, Pleitez runs Kara Sevda Press (karasevdapress.com), a new independent publishing house that has the goal of featuring literary work from women of colour. On the Sunday, She Created God is their first release, and I’m excited to see what they publish next.

On The Sunday, She Created God

On The Sunday, She Created God

Gerii Pleitez, David Edgley

$21.99Buy now

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