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For fans of The Slap, an original and powerful novel of ageing members of Generation X who have failed to live up to their dreams.

Do you ever wonder where your life is going?
You are not alone.

Story (that’s his name) can feel a middle-youth crisis coming on. He’s got a great job, a great flat and great mates:
Mac, who is obsessed with biscuits;
JP, who never says anything if it’s nice;
Cannie, whose only admirer is the bird that lives outside her window;
Vincent, who has finally proposed to his girlfriend after nineteen years.

But alongside the drinks and the kicks, what has any of them actually done? And why is time passing like sand in a sieve?

Is it possible to turn life around? Life is just life, right? And change is a gasping and slippery fish. . .


Witty, warm and observant enough to shine light into the darkest corners; a mesmerising read

The Times

Knight expertly captures that particular guilt and self-loathing that amplifies the internal misery of the outwardly successful. Her best creation is mediocre lawyer JP, a man who rages impotently at life by leaving abusive comments beneath online articles. Everyone in this world struggles to connect despite always being connected, the “men tippetty-tapping with thumbs, texting their life stories all about town, average as sandwiches, boring as soup.”

Financial Times

Working with shifting points of view to bring her portrait of collective disaffection and internal dissonance into sharp focus, Knight keeps a disciplined hold on her material... the uncompromising honesty is impressive. So, too, is her skill in eliciting sympathy for even the most unlikely character

Sunday Times

The characters are like ants under a magnifying glass, and Knight masterfully creates a suffocating atmosphere... a brave and poignant indictment of 21st-century living.

Daily Telegraph

THE SUNSHINE YEARS is a brilliant story by one of Britain's best young writers. It is a passionate, stylish novel that tells the big new truths about relationships, and is one of those books that shimmers with ideas and observations. Afsaneh Knight is a star

Andrew O'Hagan

Afsaneh Knight handles it with real aplomb, treating everybody concerned with a sympathy that never curdles into indulgence, and making their ... dilemmas feel genuinely urgent.

Daily Mail

Beautifully acute... It engage[s] thoughtfully, and surprisingly, with our struggle to find fulfilment in a strange world'

Times Literary Supplement

It's a mark of Knight's talent that JP can be so contradictory, but never unconvincing. By the time the novel has wound down to a bittersweet and pleasingly enigmatic ending, you'll even miss the guy, and all his friends. Which shows just how well Knight has done her job

The Australian

Knight's second novel is a bleak and brilliant book, a disturbing anatomy of the privileged but unexamined life

Sydney Morning Herald

A bleak portrayal of Sydney-sider thirty-something digressives and nihilists. I liked its refreshing inconclusiveness and its sparse dialogue-driven dramatic arc, and its evocations of physicality

Will Self

Massive and freewheeling as well as tight, acutely observed, moving and very funny ... deeply satisfying

Evie Wyld

Hot Things to Do Now - funny, squirm-inducing


Witty and perceptive

Woman and Home

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    June 2, 2014

    Black Swan

    352 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • 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 31, 2013

    Transworld Digital

    352 pages

    Online retailers

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

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