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Friends & Dark Shapes

Kavita Bedford



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Text Publishing Company
02 March 2021
An exquisite examination of the contours of grief and contemporary life, from a fresh new Australian-Indian voice A group of friends moves into a share house in Redfern. They are all on the cusp of thirty and big life changes, navigating insecure employment and housing, second-generation identity, online dating and social alienation-and one of them, our narrator, has just lost her father.

How do you inhabit a space where the landscape is shifting around you, when your sense of self is unravelling? What meaning does time have in the midst of grief?

Through emotionally rich vignettes tinged with humour, Friends & Dark Shapes sketches the contours of contemporary life. It is a novel of love and loss, of constancy and change. Most of all, it is about looking for connection in an estranged world.
By:   Kavita Bedford
Imprint:   Text Publishing Company
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 233mm,  Width: 154mm,  Spine: 21mm
Weight:   324g
ISBN:   9781922330475
ISBN 10:   1922330477
Pages:   288
Publication Date:   02 March 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Kavita Bedford is a Sydney-based writer. Her writing has appeared in Guernica, the Guardian, Griffith Review and elsewhere. She has an MA of Applied Anthropology from Macquarie University, and was a recent Churchill Fellow. She works and teaches in media and global studies.

Reviews for Friends & Dark Shapes

'Kavita Bedford gives the gift of brighter eyes. Her prose is sparse yet jewelled, a desert of out-of-the-blue opals and oases.' * Vivian Pham * 'Such a vivid geography: this is a work of smart intensities, witty sorrow and wise coming-to-terms with grief. Astute, wry and beautifully tender.' * Gail Jones * 'Friends & Dark Shapes is an achingly relatable, thought-provoking and compelling debut, full of gorgeous sentences that stopped me in my tracks...I loved every minute of it.' * Ewa Ramsey * 'Friends & Dark Shapes smells and feels and tastes like Sydney, like grief, like the limbo and the lucidity of your twenties. Bedford's poetic yet sparse, fearless yet gentle prose makes this a book to be savoured.' * Laura McPhee-Browne * 'An astonishingly assured debut, full of razor-sharp observations about what it means to live precariously in a changing city. It's hard to believe this is Bedford's first novel. Her voice is already fully formed.' * Jenny Offill * 'Friends & Dark Shapes is a tender look at the myriad ways that a body can hold grief. Kavita Bedford writes lyrically and longingly, imbuing sweetness and darkness throughout. It was a genuine pleasure to read this book; I felt as though I were sitting with a close friend, whispering to each other, sharing close-kept secrets. It made me rethink how loneliness can manifest; how we sometimes hurt ourselves and each other. Friends & Dark Shapes is a real delight and Kavita Bedford is a true talent.' * Kristen Arnett, author of Mostly Dead Things * 'Where Bedford shines is in detailing intimate human connection...Bedford subtly explores, too, the vulnerabilities and dangers, the uncertain desires, of being a young woman. Seeking pleasure with abandon -or never being boring, as the Pet Shop Boys' post-party mantra had it-is a queasy, bittersweet comedown that Bedford, filtering her Didionesque prose (and her protagonist's Didionesque generational cataloguing) through a wider emotional lens, excels at...Like Helen Garner and Christos Tsiolkas' own debuts, Bedford's is more concerned with taking the pulse of young, artistically-minded people alive and struggling through the city's struggle, slipping and sinking through the every-nothing days of urban anomie and insecure work and relationships.' * Guardian * 'With its slow build of emotion, sparse yet precise prose, and astute insights into modern-day adulthood, Friends & Dark Shapes is a thrilling debut for fans of Victoria Hannan's Kokomo and Jennifer Down's Our Magic Hour. It will imprint its shape onto your brain, leaving you thinking long after the final page.' * Readings * 'Poignant and immersive' * Writing NSW * 'Bedford's writing is compelling, lyrical and often nostalgic. Her characters, diverse in background, live complex lives with all the nuances and intricacies that are shared among second-generation immigrants. It is a beautiful and tender ode to Sydney.' * Kill Your Darlings * 'This stunning book has lit up my life.' * Final Draft * 'Bedford beautifully portrays the life of an Australian Indian writer struggling with grief a year after the death of her father...An insightful view of a city in flux.' * Publishers Weekly *

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