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  • Published: 26 February 2018
  • ISBN: 9781743483817
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 272

In the Garden of the Fugitives




From the award-winning author of Only the Animals comes an unputdownable novel of obsession, guilt, and the power of the past to possess the present.

Almost twenty years after forbidding him to contact her, Vita receives an email from her old benefactor, Royce. Once, she was one of his brightest protégées; now her career has stalled and Royce is ailing, and each has a need to settle accounts.

Beyond their murky shared history, both have lost beloveds, one to an untimely death, another to a strange disappearance. And both are trying to free themselves from deeper pasts, Vita from the inheritance of her birthplace, Royce from the grip of the ancient city of Pompeii and the secrets of the Garden of the Fugitives. Between what’s been repressed and what has been excavated are disturbances that reach back through decades, even centuries.

Addictive and unsettling, In the Garden of the Fugitives is a masterpiece of duplicity and counterplay, as brilliantly illuminating as it is surprising – about the obscure workings of guilt in the human psyche, the compulsion to create, and the dangerous morphing of desire into control. It is the breakthrough work of one of Australia’s most exciting emerging writers.

  • Published: 26 February 2018
  • ISBN: 9781743483817
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 272

About the author

Ceridwen Dovey

Ceridwen is a Sydney-based writer of fiction, creative non-fiction, and in-depth essays and profiles. Born in South Africa, she grew up between South Africa and Australia, went to Harvard University on scholarship as an undergraduate, and did her postgraduate studies in social anthropology at New York University.Her debut novel, Blood Kin, was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Award and selected for the U.S. National Book Foundation’s prestigious "5 Under 35" honours list. Her second book, Only the Animals, won the inaugural 2014 Readings New Australian Writing Award, the Steele Rudd Award for a short story collection in the Queensland Literary Awards, and was co-winner of the People's Choice Award for Fiction at the 2015 NSW Premier's Literary Awards. The book is on the VCE Literature Text selection (for high school students in Victoria).Her 2018 novel, In the Garden of the Fugitives, described by The New York Times as "an elegant...impressive, thought-provoking novel," was published around the world and longlisted for the 2019 ABIA Awards. Her memoir-biography, On J.M. Coetzee: Writers on Writers, was published in 2018 as part of Black Inc.'s acclaimed Writers on Writers series. In 2019, Penguin Random House published a collected edition of Ceridwen's profiles of people in unusual careers, Inner Worlds Outer Spaces: The Working Lives of Others. Ceridwen regularly contributes essays and articles to many publications, including newyorker.com, the Monthly, WIRED, the Smithsonian Magazine, and Good Weekend. Her essays have been selected for The Best Australian Science Writing 2020, The Best Australian Science Writing 2019, The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2018, and The Best Australian Essays 2015. She has a special interest in social justice and environmental ethics in outer space.Her latest novel, Life After Truth, is forthcoming from Penguin Random House in November, 2020.

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Praise for In the Garden of the Fugitives

A spellbinding pas de deux of passion and obsession. Mesmerising and mind-expanding. I was transfixed.

Anna Funder

A marvel of tone and texture . . . If, as Freud once said, the stones of antiquity speak to us, then Dovey is their exemplary oracle.

Geordie Williamson, The Weekend Australian

Amazing . . . like Dangerous Liaisons but less campy, more astringent.

The Saturday Paper

Splendidly sinister . . . The novel is richly imagined and Dovey is a terrific writer.

Laura Kroetsch, The Herald Sun

[Dovey] is one of the most exciting writers working in Australia today . . . An expansive and exploratory novel . . . genuinely bold and original . . . In the Garden of the Fugitives is a remarkable book and its author is a star.

Alison Huber, readings.com.au

This novel is brilliant. The story is compelling and addictive . . . A profound insight into the nature of the human psyche.

Melinda Woledge, Good Reading

Not enough is said in praise of literature’s cold touch, its quiet devastations, its beautiful non-answers . . . Dovey is a compelling writer.

Adam Rivett, The Monthly

In a novel unabashedly about ideas, Dovey does not shy away from bluntly confronting big questions head-on, and yet – a testament to her skill – the book, while trembling with meaning, is neither obvious nor cumbersome but unsettlingly alive. Sweeping both geographically and intellectually; a literary page-turner.

Kirkus Reviews

Dovey is one of our best, most original writers . . . Splendid.

David Gaunt, Books & Publishing

Excavation both archaeological and psychological figures prominently in Dovey’s gracefully constructed second novel.

Brendan Driscol, Booklist (starred review)

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In the Garden of the Fugitives book club notes

Unearth Ceridwen Dovey’s themes of guilt, power, shame and obsession with your book club.

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