Winner of the inaugural Michael Gifkins Prize for an Unpublished Novel, Ruby Porter is an exciting new voice in New Zealand literature.
The present reckons with the past in Attraction. Porter's unnamed narrator is on a road trip between Auckland, Whangara and Levin with her friends Ashi and Ilana, haunted by the spectre of her emotionally abusive ex-boyfriend, her complicated family background and New Zealand's colonial history. Jealousies intensify as the young women work out who they are and who they might become.
Ruby Porter is a tutor of creative writing at the University of Auckland. She has been published in Geometry Journal, Aotearotica, Spinoff and Wireless, and a selection of her poetry is available on NZEPC. In 2018, she also won the Wallace Foundation Short Fiction Contest.
'The prose is subtle and flavourful...One to savour slowly.' ArtsHub 'Very few contemporary New Zealand novels examine our national political blind spots with such a clear eye...If Porter shows us that the past is complicated, messy and often unpleasant, and the legacy difficult to live with, she shows us these things with an artist's eye for beauty.' Landfall Review 'Not a word is wasted. Imagery is of the sharpest level. The settings almost take on lives of their own...There is so much to love about this angry, meditative novel that reading it is almost an act of catharsis.' AU Review 'The story is told in fragments and time slips; sometimes it's straight reportage, sometimes it's more like a diary, relating what the narrator is remembering, reading and feeling. She is not always reliable. Her ever-changing consciousness, by turns particular and dreamlike, rolls out like the waves at Whangara. It makes for a wonderful novel.' NZ Listener 'Skill and talent combined' NZ Metro 'A coming-of-age story that is full of evocative sketches of the North Island's landscapes.' Traveller magazine 'The road trip proves the perfect medium here for the writer's coming-of-age quiet exploration of the transitory and the fickle; of what matters beneath the turmoil of an ever-changing personal history and the relationship of individuals to their scarred and damaged homeland.' Otago Daily Times 'Attraction is an exquisite story...The prose is emotive and artistic...Attraction is impossible to put down...It is a brilliant, beautiful novel.' Booksellers NZ 'Attraction abounds with sharp imagery, intergenerational relationships and the natural, historic and domestic environments of modern New Zealand. Ruby Porter is a gifted new writer.' -- Patricia Grace 'Attraction peels back the landscape to reveal deeper truths. The writer is right inside her material - a road trip that delivers a political and sexual coming-of-age narrative. The book is a slow-burning fuse that brims with intensely felt experience. Porter is an exciting new talent.' -- Lloyd Jones
Winner of Michael Gifkins Prize 2018 (New Zealand)
Long-listed for Booktopia Favourite Australian Book 2020 (Australia)
Long-listed for Fiction, Ockham New Zealand Book Awards 2020 (New Zealand)
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