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A provocative, urgent novel about time, family and how a changing planet might change our lives, from James Bradley, acclaimed author of The Resurrectionist and editor of The Penguin Book of the Ocean.

Compelling, challenging and resilient, over ten beautifully contained chapters, Clade canvasses three generations from the very near future to late this century. Central to the novel is the family of Adam, a scientist, and his wife Ellie, an artist. Clade opens with them wanting a child and Adam in a quandary about the wisdom of this. Their daughter proves to be an elusive little girl and then a troubled teenager, and by now cracks have appeared in her parents' marriage. Their grandson is in turn a troubled boy, but when his character reappears as an adult he's an astronomer, one set to discover something astounding in the universe. With great skill James Bradley shifts us subtly forward through the decades, through disasters and plagues, miraculous small moments and acts of great courage. Elegant, evocative, understated and thought-provoking, it is the work of a writer in command of the major themes of our time.

‘Epic . . . Riveting.’ Missy Higgins

'Clade opens up to become that rarest of novels: one that stares down its harrowing beginning to find a sense of peace and even of wonder, while being true to itself. All the way through, the prose is achingly beautiful. Bradley's a magnificent writer and it's all on display here: sentences and images float, poetic and sharp as crystal.' The Saturday Paper
'James Bradley's lithe and inventive novels defiantly resist the present . . . Clade triumphs because Bradley renders his characters graspable . . . prioritises the human touch . . . It is impossible not to be swept along by the sheer pace of the narrative . . . [There is] a palpable sense of urgency and consequence that is conveyed subtly, without any heavy-handed didacticism or sententiousness.' Malcolm Forbes, The Australian
'Before it is about anything else, Clade is about family . . . There's a real Dickensian sweep to both its structure and its passionate despair about humanity's dearth of improvement or compassion . . . Complex and beautifully paced, Clade is the first great novel of climate change. So well does it predict our possible future, it is unlikely to be the last.' James Tierney, Kill Your Darlings
'A melodic, intense rendering . . . sharp, inventive and ultimately hopeful.' Herald Sun
'[Bradley's] attitude is sanguine . . . Time is long and the universe is vast: while the novel deals throughout in very familiar human emotions, it sets them finally in a thought-provokingly wider perspective.' Katharine England, The Advertiser (Adelaide)
'Provocative . . . Haunting.' John Affleck, Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin
'A compelling story of the triumph of hope over devastation . . . Clade is a visionary book.' Elaine Fry, West Australian
'A remarkable and important novel.' Surf Coast Times
'In these relentless, brilliantly imagined apprehensions, Clade's foretellings movingly bind the reader to the lives we all-too-human spirits live—and may live. This is the unstinting dreaming and devoted craft-work of a deeply serious, marvelously accomplished artist taking on the absolutely essential.' Thomas Farber, author of Brief Nudity, On Water and The Beholder
'A beautifully written meditation on climate collapse, concentrating on three generations of an Australian family. Bradley skilfully evokes the particularity of lived experience, and the novel is full of vivid little moments, although its real triumph is in setting these in their larger context: a world wrecked by storms and floods, changes in vegetation and the collapse of bird and bee populations . . . Bradley's short, intense novel is as much a hymn to hope as it is a warning.' New Scientist
'[Clade] is among the most literate and humane contributions to that slowly emerging tradition of what is sometimes called ''slow apocalypse'' fiction . . . It's his astute management of chronology, as each section leaps years ahead of the preceding one, that generates the novel's haunting and elegiac feeling, making it a near-epic of loss, remembrance, and steadily diminishing hope.' Gary K. Wolfe, Locus online
'What is really important in this novel is not these brilliantly rendered future disaster scenarios, but the way epic events are juxtaposed with very human stories. Clade is a book full of people struggling to find connections, not only with each other, but the wider world around them . . . There is a beauty in the way Bradley depicts sadness with such truthfulness and honesty. And in very important ways Clade is, in fact, a hopeful novel. It is a book that depicts human life and love as a shining star in the great dark abyss of time . . . Clade is not a novel about what is lost, but what we can never lose.' Luke Brown, sffworld.com
'In Australia, there is no one like [Bradley] in the imagining of the imminent end time of the way we live now.' Sydney Review of Books

Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback


    January 28, 2015

    Hamish Hamilton (AU Adult)

    256 pages

    RRP $32.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    January 28, 2015

    Penguin eBooks (AU Adult)

    320 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by James Bradley

The Element of Need: Penguin Special
Beauty's Sister: Penguin Special
Flags Of Our Fathers
Flags Of Our Fathers


Crimes of the Father
The Handmaid's Tale
Ready Player One
The Martian
Brave New World
Into the Water
Best Laid Plans
Night School
The Woolgrower's Companion
The Traitor’s Girl
After You
Lake Hill
The Light Between Oceans
Congo Dawn
Anything Is Possible
Humans, Bow Down
Men Without Women
The Good Mother