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The Performance

Claire Thomas



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Hachette Australia
30 March 2022
'In this novel, the project of living is rendered with compassionate clarity.' NEW YORK TIMES

'Thomas's imitation of wandering minds is flawless.' WASHINGTON POST

'Claire Thomas has constructed, with graceful precision, a near-perfect wind-up music box of a novel.' ARTS HUB

The false cold of the theatre makes it hard to imagine the heavy wind outside in the real world, the ash air pressing onto the city from the nearby hills where bushfires are taking hold.

The house lights lower.

The auditorium feels hopeful in the darkness.

As bushfires rage outside the city, three women watch a performance of a Beckett play.

Margot is a successful professor, preoccupied by her fraught relationship with her ailing husband. Ivy is a philanthropist with a troubled past, distracted by the snoring man beside her. Summer is a young theatre usher, anxious about the safety of her girlfriend in the fire zone.

As the performance unfolds, so does each woman's story. By the time the curtain falls, they will all have a new understanding of the world beyond the stage.

'How each woman interacts with and is altered by the play enacts beautifully the dialectical relationship between art and life.' WEEKEND AUSTRALIAN

'Written with passion, The Performance is a brave book: unafraid of confronting the dissonances of living in a modern Australia.' THE CONVERSATION

'Witty, affecting, brilliantly wise and original.' Gail Jones, author of A GUIDE TO BERLIN, THE DEATH OF NOAH GLASS and OUR SHADOWS

'A potent meditation on the intensity of women's lives.' Charlotte Wood, author of THE NATURAL WAY OF THINGS and THE WEEKEND

'Claire Thomas writes with a sure eye and knowing heart.' Tony Birch, author of BLOOD, GHOST RIVER and THE WHITE GIRL

'I read from start to finish almost without looking up.' Clare Bowditch, author of YOUR OWN KIND OF GIRL

'Read it as soon as you possibly can.' Emily Bitto, author of THE STRAYS

'A tour de force. I can't recommend this too highly.' Patrick Gale, author of A PLACE CALLED WINTER and TAKE NOTHING WITH YOU

'Quietly transformational' THE TIMES

'Inventive and rule-breaking...deliciously clever and self-aware' Arts Hub

'Richly rendered and perceptive' Publishers Weekly

'This is a masterful work. Highly recommended.' Canberra Times

'An intimate, compassionate, and unusual novel' Kirkus

'Intimate, poignant, and darkly funny.' Sunday Times

'Lively and i
Imprint:   Hachette Australia
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 130mm,  Spine: 20mm
Weight:   240g
ISBN:   9780733648397
ISBN 10:   0733648398
Pages:   288
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Claire Thomas is a Melbourne writer. Her acclaimed first novel was Fugitive Blue, which won the Dobbie Award for women writers, and was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award. Claire holds a PhD from the University of Melbourne where she taught literary studies and creative writing for many years.

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