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  • Published: 23 January 2024
  • ISBN: 9781804940853
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224
  • RRP: $22.99

This Other Eden




'A testament of love . . . so real it could make you weep' NEW YORK TIMES

'Masterful . . . has much to say to our times' Guardian

'Begs to be read' Spectator

'A luminous, thought-provoking novel' Esi Edugyan, author of Washington Black

In 1792, formerly enslaved Benjamin Honey and his Irish wife, Patience, discover an island where they can make a life together. More than a century later, the Honeys' descendants remain, with an eccentric, diverse band of neighbours. But during one tumultuous summer at the dawn of the twentieth century, one prejudiced missionary lands on the island's shores, disrupting the community's fragile balance with everlasting consequences.

Full of lyricism and power, Paul Harding's This Other Eden explores the hopes and dreams and resilience of those seen not to fit a world brutally intolerant of difference.

  • Published: 23 January 2024
  • ISBN: 9781804940853
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

Paul Harding

Paul Harding is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Tinkers, and Enon. He is director of the MFA in Creative Writing & Literature at Stony Brook University, and lives on Long Island, New York.

Also by Paul Harding

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Praise for This Other Eden

The Pulitzer prize-winning author's gifts have found their fullest expression . . . [This Other Eden] impresses time and again because of the depth of Harding's sentences, their breathless angelic light

Observer

Masterful . . . This Other Eden is a story of good intentions, bad faith, worse science, but also a tribute to community and human dignity and the possibility of another world. In both, it has much to say to our times

Guardian

Harding's new novel is suffused with the tremulous imagery and soaring imagination that won him the Pulitzer Prize . . . Exquisite

Financial Times

Masterful . . . This Other Eden is a story of good intentions, bad faith, worse science, but also a tribute to community and human dignity and the possibility of another world. In both, it has much to say to our times.

Guardian

Harding's new novel is suffused with the tremulous imagery and soaring imagination that won him the Pulitzer Prize . . . Exquisite.

Catherine Taylor, Financial Times

Rich and full-bodied in its lyricism, Harding's novel, too, is part warning, part memorial, but perhaps above all, reinforces the power of art to bring us into sympathy with strangers' lives.

Daily Mail

Harding invites comparisons with authors such as William Faulkner, Robinson and even Elizabeth Strout . . . This Other Eden . . . begs to be widely read.

Spectator

This Other Eden is ultimately a testament of love: love of kin, love of nature, love of art, love of self, love of home . . . The humans he has created are, thankfully, not flattened into props and gimmicks, which sometimes happens when writers work across time and difference; instead they pulse with aliveness, dreamlike but tangible, so real it could make you weep.

Danez Smith, New York Times

Powerful . . . a moving indictment of a shocking episode in America's past that is rendered in lyrical prose.

Mail on Sunday

[Harding] writes with the gravitas of a mythmaker . . . The pace of Harding's storytelling is stately, his descriptions, even of small events, gorgeous . . . This Other Eden is beautiful and agonizing.

Claire Messud, Harper's

Beautiful . . . Perhaps the chief wonder of this novel is its vivid depictions of a community that is loving, longstanding, peculiar, full of surprises, filled with history, both dark and joyous and above all, functional and self-sustaining - until as has happened so many times and so many places, someone comes along to mess it up.

TLS

In boldly lyrical prose, This Other Eden shows us a once-thriving racial utopia in its final days, at a time when race and science were colliding in chilling ways. In the stories of the Apple Islanders - especially that of Ethan Honey, spared a destructive fate because of his artistic gifts and his fair skin - we are made to confront the ambiguous nature of mercy, the limits of tolerance, and what it means to truly be saved. A luminous, thought-provoking novel.

Esi Edugyan, author of Washington Black

A special book by a rare writer.

Rachel Seiffert, author of A Boy in Winter

Harding, who won a dark-horse Pulitzer Prize for Tinkers, again demonstrates his gifts for concision and compassion in a narrative that balances historical fact with fully drawn characters. . . . Sure to be a standout of 2023.

Los Angeles Times

There is no writer alive anything like Paul Harding, and This Other Eden proves it: astonishingly beautiful, humane, strange, interested in philosophy and the heart, stunningly written. It's about home, love, heredity, cruelty, and the very nature of art, so completely original it's hard to know how to describe it in a mere blurb, by which I mean: you must read this book.

Elizabeth McCracken, author of The Souvenir Museum

Tender, magical, and haunting, Paul Harding's This Other Eden is that rare novel that makes profound claims on our present age while being, very simply, a graceful performance of language and storytelling. Here is prose that touchingly holds its imagined island community in a light that can only be described as generous and dazzling. I have not read a novel this achingly beautiful in a while, nor one in which the fate of its characters I will not soon forget.

Major Jackson, author of The Absurd Man

An exquisite book which is both intimate and epic. The writing is polished, precise, luminous. A beautiful testament to people, and whole ways of life, which are have simply been removed from history, and leave hardly a trace behind.'

Alice Jolly

A tragic tale beautifully told.

The Scotsman