Fruit of the Dead

(Trade paper)
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An electric contemporary reimagining of the myth of Persephone and Demeter set over the course of one summer on a lush private island, exploring who holds the power in a modern underworld.

Camp counsellor Cory Ansel, eighteen and aimless, afraid to face her high-strung single mother in New York, is no longer sure where home is when the father of one of her campers offers an alternative.

The CEO of a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company, Rolo Picazo is middle-aged, divorced, magnetic. He is also intoxicated by Cory. When Rolo proffers a childcare job (and an NDA), Cory quiets an internal warning and allows herself to be ferried to his private island off the coast of Maine. Plied with luxury and opiates manufactured by his company, she continues to tell herself she's in charge. Her mother, Emer, head of a teetering agricultural NGO, senses otherwise. When her daughter seemingly disappears, Emer crosses land and sea to heed a cry for help she alone is convinced she hears.

Alternating between the two women's perspectives, Fruit of the Dead incorporates its mythic inspiration with a light touch and devastating precision. The result is a lush and haunting story that explores love, attraction, control, obliteration and America's own late capitalist mythos.

Praise for Fruit of the Dead

'An unnerving literary thriller... An absorbing exploration of ancient themes like power and temptation.' Mail on Sunday

'Riveting and lush... a spellbinding account of a young woman's hunger for freedom, the sordid underbelly of big pharma, and the siren call of addiction.' Leslie Jamison, author of Splinters

'A gripping literary thriller, Fruit of the Dead presents a coming-of-age tale that is so well-observed and intoxicating that the reader will lose track of time, but won't forget how they spent it. Egan and Cline fans: assemble.' Caoilinn Hughes, author of The Wild Laughter

'Ancient Greece meets Succession by way of Emma Cline, Fruit of the Dead is a deliciously dark examination of agency and power, and the savage complexity of the mother-daughter bond.' Ruth Gilligan, author of The Butchers

'Mesmerised and profoundly alarmed, I read this in one go; I've been haunted by it ever since. I've passionately loved Lyon's writing for years, and Fruit of the Dead further confirms what I've long suspected: I want to lunge to read anything she writes.' R. O. Kwon, author of The Incendiaries