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P. Harding “This Other Eden”

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P. Harding “This Other Eden”

23.00 

Shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2023

Set at the beginning of the twentieth century and inspired by historical events, This Other Eden tells the story of Apple Island: an enclave off the coast of the United States where waves of castaways – in flight from society and its judgment – have landed and built a home.

Benjamin Honey- American, Bantu, Igbo- born enslaved- freed or fled at fifteen- aspiring orchardist, arrived on the island with his Irish wife, Patience, and discovered they could make a life together there. More than a century later, the Honeys’ descendants remain, with an eccentric, diverse band of neighbours. Then comes the intrusion of ‘civilization’: officials determine to ‘cleanse’ the island, and a missionary schoolteacher selects one light-skinned boy to save. The rest will succumb to the authorities’ institutions or cast themselves on the waters in a new Noah’s Ark.

Full of lyricism and power, Paul Harding’s This Other Eden explores the hopes and dreams and resilience of those seen not to fit a world brutally intolerant of difference.

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