The New Animals (Paperback)
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Winner of the 2018 Acorn Prize, New Zealand’s highest fiction award, Pip Adam’s The New Animals is a work of artistic ambition and political urgency.
Set in the Auckland fashion scene in 2016, The New Animals moves over the course of one night through the hopes, misapprehensions, resentments, and regrets of a small group of fashion-industry workers, divided by generation and class. The young and rich act like nothing can touch them; the tired Gen-Xers feel forever adrift. On this particularly stressful night, hairdressers, patternmakers, stylists, and a makeup artist are tasked with preparing for a last-minute photoshoot without clothes or clear directions. Caught up in the small dramas of their lives, while around them the world is fast becoming uninhabitable, the group toils against the impossible pressure until one of them decides to break away.
Like a twisted contemporary heir to Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, The New Animals is a brilliant and unforgettable dive beneath the surface of life, uncovering the common ground of humanity, as well as the common plight.
About the Author
Pip Adam is the author of three novels: Nothing to See (2020), The New Animals (2017), which won the Acorn Foundation Prize for Fiction, and I'm Working on a Building (2013); and the short story collection Everything We Hoped For (2010), which won the NZSA Hubert Church Best First Book Award for Fiction in 2011. Adam makes the Better Off Read podcast and lives in Wellington, New Zealand.
“A less ambitious, less confident writer might not want to disorient their readers with such experimentation. But Pip Adam would rather have us experience these ideas and be inundated by them."—Clara Sankey, The Believer
“Thorny, funny, shocking, brilliant. Trust me when I tell you you have no idea where this novel is going.” —Dan Kois, author of Vintage Contemporaries
“The New Animals is fiction that doesn’t sit still, that shifts and shimmers as you read. It is in equal measure steely and self-delighting; it has little mercy. . . . It is willing to leap into the surreal in order to capture the weird violence and strangeness of being alive in this post-colonial island nation in the 21st century.” —Anna Smaill, NZ Listener
“I held my breath while reading Pip Adam’s The New Animals. As a writer, it was the type of book that makes you marvel at Adam’s fearlessness. I wanted to tell everybody about it. . . . The New Animals is a dark book. But far from being unlikeable, its characters are thrillingly and heartbreakingly alive. The book is a cry for human emotion where human emotions are constantly being wiped clean. . . . It left me stunned and heartbroken.” —Brannavan Gnanalingam, The Spinoff