WILD ABANDON by Emily Bitto $24.99 (RRP $32.99 )

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A breathtaking new novel from the Stella Prize-winning author of The Strays.

In spring of 2011, a young Australian man travels to the USA.

It is a quest of sorts, a quest as old as narrative itself: a young man striking out from home in search of experience and culture, which he associates with that talismanic word, America.

Beginning in the excessive, uncanny-familiar glamour and plenitude of New York City, Will crashes with expat chef and former nemesis Paul, and his girlfriend Justine, a rising star in the art scene. From here, he embarks on a doomed road trip into the American heartland, where he meets Wayne Gage. This charismatic, fast-living and deeply damaged Vietnam veteran, collector of exotic animals and would-be spirit guide, draws Will towards the dark conclusion of his journey.

Wild Abandon is a headlong tumble through the falling world of end-days capitalism, a haunting, hyperreal snapshot of our own strange times and what it means to be a tourist, or indeed a human, within them.

‘Emily Bitto writes superbly textured prose, granular with detail. Here is her sumptuous, freewheeling riff on the getting of wisdom. Wild Abandon is thrilling and heartbreaking by turns – a glorious novel.’ – Michelle de Kretser, twice winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award for Questions of Travel and The Life to Come.

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