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This Other Eden: Longlisted for The Booker Prize 2023

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This Other Eden: Longlisted for The Booker Prize 2023 by Paul Harding

As seen:

  • Booker Prize 2023 Longlist
  • Booker Prize 2023 Shortlist

By Paul Harding

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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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