Paradise Earth released

STOP PRESS, May 12, 2020: From the ashes of Australia’s fires Amy Barker and Stormbird Press win 2020 Independent Publisher Awards Gold

Stormbird Press is thrilled to announce the launch of Paradise Earth, from multi-award-winning author Amy Barker.

The aftershocks from 1996 continued, year after year, often in the life of the individual more devastating than the Port Arthur massacre itself. Yet always the subsequent tragedies could be traced back to that unspeakable Sunday.

From multi-award-winning author Amy Barker comes a new novel about the courage it takes to heal, set on Tasman Peninsula approaching the 25th anniversary of the Port Arthur massacre. Paradise Earth is thrumming with the irrepressible spirit of raw wilderness that propels the individual toward the emergent edge, where empowerment, love and compassion enable the self to transcend its limits, move beyond the past, and create a unique future.

As Barker unfolds Paradise Earth, she opens up the innermost workings of the human psyche as each character is forced to come to terms with who they are, and how far they will go for their beliefs. Ruth, a woman in exile from her community, estranged from her family; John, a recreational hunter, teaching his adolescent son to shoot; Marina, a massacre survivor, turned animal rights activist: each is haunted by the legacy of trauma that ripples throughout generations before of a reckoning.

1996 was the year her faith was fossilised, like an insect caught in the blood flow of a giant swamp gum, dead and trapped forever in amber.

Author: Amy Barker
Release date: April 28, 2020
RRP: AU$29.99 (pbk), $9.99 (ebk)
Territory: English language market
Format: Paperback and eBook
Size: 203 x 128 mm
Pages: 324
ISBNs: 978-1-925856-22-4 (pbk) 978-1-925856-23-1 (ebk)

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In the wilderness the boundary between humankind and the divine is but a membrane and if you do not remain vigilant, penetration can occur without you so much as realising it.

Advance Praise for Paradise Earth

A task fraught with dangers: to be an honest and unflinching guide to this most terrible of Australia’s hauntings. Amy Barker reminds me of the young Dostoevsky, how in his novel of a Siberian prison camp he could descend the ladder of humanity step by step because even in the most degraded there must still be the divine spark. Not a safe place for writer or reader—but a novel of blazing and humbling integrity.’—Peter Bishop, writers’ advocate and formerly Creative Director of Varuna, the Writers’ House.

In a masterful follow-up to her award-winning debut novel Omega Park, Amy Barker has created a simple and beautiful tapestry of lives lived in the shadow of the unthinkable violence of the Port Arthur Massacre. Set against the backdrop of the Tasman Peninsula’s raw and rugged natural beauty, and its tragic legacy, Paradise Earth recounts a series of separate but interconnecting stories that explore the vicissitudes and fragility of the human condition. The result is both lyrical and provocative.’—Chris Nyst, Gettin’ Square (winner Lexus If Award for Best Screenplay 2003, nominated for AFI Best Screenplay Award 2003), and Crook as Rookwood (winner Ned Kelly Crime Fiction Award 2009).

Amy Barker

Amy Barker holds degrees in English Literature and Creative Writing. Her debut novel Omega Park won the 2008 Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for Best Emerging Author, was shortlisted for the 2010 FAW (Fellowship of Australian Writers) Christina Stead Award for fiction and was Winner of the 2012 IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) Ena Noël Award.

Paradise Earth, Amy’s second novel, won the 2013 DJ ‘Dinny’ O’Hearn Memorial Fellowship. Amy has undertaken residencies at the Australian Centre (UOM), Varuna, The Writers’ House, the Tyrone Guthrie Centre and Old Melbourne Gaol, which like Port Arthur, is a Pentonville model prison.