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No Church in the Wild

Murray Middleton

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26 March 2024
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Five years after violence erupted between young migrants and local police in Melbourne's inner west, a police-led trip to hike the Kokoda Trail seeks to rebuild trust. But fresh allegations of racial profiling have the community on a knife edge.

For wannabe rapper Ali, pride is hard to come by in the commission towers, where friends fill the gaps left by a family secret.

Classmate Tyler's anger - at his broken home, and a world that denies his dreams - is close to ignition.

With her life in disarray, young and idealistic teacher Anna defies a school system that's failing her students.

And Paul, a cop new to the beat, quickly realises it'll take more than community policing to fix relations with local youth.

From the vial-studded stairs of the inner-city high-rises to the mud-sucking jungle of Kokoda, No Church in the Wild is a fierce interrogation of contemporary Australian society and the prejudices that still underpin it.

Praise for No Church in the Wild

'Murray Middleton deftly avoids the landmines in his propulsive new novel. He takes on a story whose hoary origins hark back to Blackboard Jungle, and which has for too long been mired in journalistic cliché and in hand-wringing sentimentality, and he makes it fresh, troubling and compelling. The structure is cinematic, but the real strength is in the operatic assuredness of the writing. The chorus of voices have real bite, real sting and real tenderness and truth. It sounds like real life.' CHRISTOS TSIOLKAS

'I don't know if Murray Middleton is the bravest writer in Australia or the stupidest. What I do know is that No Church in the Wild is amazing; a novel of wisdom and assurance and audacity. The fact that this book exists is a triumph. The fact that it works - and that it's so good - is a miracle.' MILES ALLINSON

'A fierce, urgent, necessary book.' JAMES BRADLEY

Imprint:   Picador
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 230mm,  Width: 154mm,  Spine: 30mm
Weight:   474g
ISBN:   9781761263170
ISBN 10:   176126317X
Pages:   384
Publication Date:  
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Murray Middleton is a Melbourne-based writer who spent eight years working in the city's education system. His first collection of stories, When There's Nowhere Else to Run, won The Australian/Vogel Literary Award and was shortlisted for the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards. He is also a winner of The Age Short Story Award. In 2016, Murray was named Sydney Morning Herald's Best Young Australian Novelist. He currently restrings tennis racquets for a living.

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