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‘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.’
Coming home to Tasman Peninsula with her Northern Irish partner, Ruth journeys into her own psychic trauma as well as that projected onto the raw, monumental coast. When Ruth’s brother John helps his fourteen-year-old son apply for a firearm’s permit—almost two and a half decades after Port Arthur—they risk condemning those who do not remember the past to repeat it.
A Port Arthur survivor, Marina has returned to the Peninsula with her brother Moon to pack up Doo-No-Harm, the family holiday home, after their mother’s death. Marina’s personhood was so violated by her early life experience that she has been left an angry she-wolf about to set out on the hunt. In a convoy of duck rescuers, the siblings head for a confrontation with shooters on the wetland.
In these lives choreographed by trauma, damage and the ramifications of wilful forgetfulness, transformation can only occur after an extremely painful lesson.
‘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, author of Cop This, Gone, Gettin’ Square, and Crook as Rookwood.
Learn more about Paradise Earth by listening to Amy’s interview on ABC Radio National’s Books and Arts program.
Paradise Earth’s Amy Barker and Stormbird Press rise from the ashes of Kangaroo Island’s deadliest wildfires to win Gold in the Australia/NZ/Pacific Rim Best Regional fiction category in the 2020 Independent Publisher Awards.
Serious Literature Honoured in Serious Times
July 28, 2020
In a year marked by the collective trauma of Australia’s horrific bushfire season and the current Coronavirus pandemic, Paradise Earth by Amy Barker is honoured as a finalist in the literary fiction category of the 2020 International Book Awards.
Paradise Earth Wins IPPY Gold
May 12, 2020
Paradise Earth author Amy Barker and publisher Stormbird Press rise from the ashes of Kangaroo Island’s deadly wildfires to win Gold in the Australia/NZ/Pacific Rim Best Regional fiction category in the 2020 Independent Publisher (IPPY) Awards.
Paradise Earth Release Announcement
April 29, 2020
Stormbird Press announces the launch of Paradise Earth, from multi-award-winning author Amy Barker.