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A mesmeric novel of lost love and regret, from one of Brazil's foremost contemporary novelists, named on of Granta's twenty 'Best of Young Brazilian Novelists'

Selected as one of the Best Books 2017 in the Financial Times
Is it better to burn out than to fade away?

In this sinuous meditation on passion, youth and guilt, a man looks back twenty years to his relationship with his first love, Valeria. The year is 1993, and while he's undertaking military service, his best friend accompanies Valeria to a Nirvana gig in his absence - a night he feels has defined his entire adult life ever since.

Entwining this most personal story with seminal events of the 1990s, A Poison Apple circles back to some of the biggest questions: what is a life worth? What does it mean to really commit to living? And can we ever break free of the past?


It is both timely and gratifying to see one of the country’s outstanding writers come to the attention of an English-language readership

Ángel Gurría-Quintana, Financial Times

I read A Poison Apple in two impulsive, impatient sittings... Michel Laub is one of the most intelligent novelists at work south of the equator. If he were north of the equator, he’d be one of the most intelligent novelists there too. I love the minute intricacy of his compositions, and the way they stage such giant traumas.

Adam Thirlwell

In this sly and unexpected novel, Laub asks how some thrive in spite of trauma and others fall apart in the face of success.

Financial Times

DIARY OF THE FALL: Extraordinary... In my world, this novel is already a classic

Karl Ove Knausgaard

DIARY OF THE FALL: A work of immense incantatory power

Neel Mukherjee, Literary Review

One of Brazil’s finest authors offers a meditation on betrayal, guilt, survival and the many ways in which personal and collective histories collide.

Financial Times, Best Books of 2017

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    July 15, 2018


    176 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
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    • Abbey's Bookshop
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    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    July 6, 2017

    Vintage Digital

    176 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle AU
    • iBooks
    • Google Play EBook AU
    • Kobo Ebook
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    • eBooks

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