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IN THE GARDEN OF THE FUGITIVES

Ceridwen Dovey

  • Original Title: IN THE GARDEN OF THE FUGITIVES
  • Publication date: May 2018
  • Publisher: FARRAR, STRAUSS AND GIROUX
  • Country: ZA
  • 384 print pages
  • Drama

Information

  • Epoch: Mixed
  • Time Period: 20th century, 21st century
  • Themes: FAMILY, Mourning, PEOPLE facing life, Looking back on one's life, Facing failure, PEOPLE facing the extraordinary, Manipulation, Rivalry, SOCIETY DYSFUNCTIONS, Power, LOVE / HATE, Sex, Obsession, Amorous urge

Pitch

Almost 20 years after forbidding him to contact her, Vita receives a letter from a man who has long stalked her from a distance. Once, Royce was her benefactor and she was one of his brightest protégées. Beyond their murky shared history, they are both aware they can use each other to free themselves from deeper pasts.

Comments

Longlisted for the Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs) in the Literary fiction book of the year category

Ceridwen Dovey is a South African and Australian social anthropologist and author. Her debut novel BLOOD KIN was translated into 15 languages; it was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize (UK), the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize (UK), the Commonwealth Prize Best First Book (Africa region), and the Australia-Asia Literary Award; longlisted for the Prix Femina Etranger (France), and won the Sunday Times Fiction Prize and the University of Johannesburg Award in South Africa. In 2009 she was named a 5 under 35 nominee by the National Book Foundation.

Summary

Almost twenty years after forbidding him to contact her, Vita receives a letter from a man who has long stalked her from a distance. Once, Royce was her benefactor and she was one of his brightest protégées. Now Royce is ailing and Vita's career as a filmmaker has stalled, and both have reasons for wanting to settle accounts. They enter into an intimate game of words, played according to shifting rules of engagement.

Beyond their murky shared history, they are both aware they can use each other to free themselves from deeper pasts. Vita is processing the shameful inheritance of her birthplace, and making sense of the disappearance of her beloved. Royce is haunted by memories of the untimely death of his first love, an archaeologist who worked in the Garden of the Fugitives in Pompeii. Between what's been repressed and what has been disguised are disturbances that reach back through decades, even centuries. But not everything from the past is precious: each gorgeous age is built around a core of rottenness.

IN THE GARDEN OF THE FUGITIVES is a novel of duplicity and counterplay, about the obscure workings of guilt in the human psyche, the compulsion to create and control, and the dangerous morphing of desire into obsession.

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  • Author’s biography

    Ceridwen Dovey (born 1980) is a South African and Australian social anthropologist and author. She is South African by birth, and a graduate of Harvard, where she studied anthropology, and the University of Cape Town, where she studied creative writing. She lives in Australia. In 2009 she was named a 5 under 35 nominee by the National Book Foundation. Her debut novel BLOOD KIN was translated into 15 languages; it was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize (UK), the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize (UK), the Commonwealth Prize Best First Book (Africa region), and the Australia-Asia Literary Award; longlisted for the Prix Femina Etranger (France), and won the Sunday Times Fiction Prize and the University of Johannesburg Award in South Africa. Her second book, the short story collection ONLY THE ANIMALS, won the inaugural 2014 Readings New Australian Writing Award and the People's Choice for Fiction Award at the NSW Premier's Literary Awards, as well as the Queensland Literary Awards Steele Rudd Award for a short story collection.