Paradise Earth Release

Gold Medal Winner 2020 IPPY Awards for Best Regional Fiction

Finalist 2020 International Book Awards – Literary Fiction

With the timely release of Paradise Earth, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Amy Barker and her publishers at Stormbird Press predicted this year’s bushfire crisis, floods and COVID-19 pandemic with amazing prescience. Set on Tasman Peninsula, approaching the 25th anniversary of the Port Arthur massacre, this long-awaited novel (Barker’s first book in ten years) is the kind of contemporary literature that feels pulled straight from the collective unconscious.

‘The nightmares are as frequent as her regular dreams. Then there are the night terrors…just as there are people who will never experience a tsunami, an earthquake, a bushfire or a massacre—will only see these things in the news. Such is the lottery of life.’

Our deadliest mass shooting—one that changed Australian society irrevocably—is presented not only as a national tragedy but also as, perhaps most poignantly, a personal trial for individuals and communities having to learn to survive after an unprecedented and life-altering event.

As Barker unfolds Paradise Earth, she opens up the innermost workings of the human psyche as each character is forced to come to terms with who they are, and how far they will go for their beliefs. Ruth, a woman in exile from her community, estranged from her family; John, a recreational hunter, teaching his adolescent son to shoot; Marina, a massacre survivor, turned animal rights activist: each is haunted by the legacy of trauma that ripples throughout generations.

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