The new novel from the author ofThe Magpie Wing, longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award.
It's 2022 and Helen is starting again. Newly single, adrift in a hostile rental market, she finds a four-bedroom house flanked by apartment blocks that stare into the yard. Despite the lack of privacy, she fills its rooms with an unlikely group of residents looking for communal belonging: a zine maker working on a punk music archive; an activist writing about Australian anti-communism; a research scientist striving to put down roots; and a part-time rugby league player who has one chance to play for his country before retirement. Each is looking to build a future, each is haunted by their recent past.
But if a rented house in Sydney could ever promise salvation, it would come with a coating of black mould. Against the backdrop of pandemic and war, of climate and housing crises, Paradise Estate finds its residents struggling against generational confusion, political indifference and social malaise. When isolation and atomisation are all we've been given, what can be made from building common ground? Written with ironic wit and an eye for contemporary events, Max Easton's second novel sets the pessimism of its times against the optimism of the will.
Praise forThe Magpie Wing:
'An original, exceptional novel.' --The Guardian
'An anxious novel about anxious characters in anxious times. It seeks to register this anxiety in all of its contradictions and complexities, but thankfully does not want to resolve it.' --Sydney Review of Books
'A moving portrait of a city and region undergoing enormous change, told through the perspectives of three unique, sympathetic and vulnerable characters.' --Books+Publishing