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Body Friend

Brabon Katherine



Price: $34.99
Format: Paperback / softback
ISBN13: 9781761151781
Published: August 2023

See more information below

This is a new book. Condition: Brand New.


'an illuminating reflection on what it means to live with pain.' -Publishers Weekly

'Body Friend is a deeply intimate tribute to the fragile and porous self, written in prose of rare clarity and tenderness. I felt everything reading this book.'-Claire Thomas, author of The Performance and Fugitive Blue

'Body Friend is a novel that clings to the mind long after it finishes.' -ArtsHUB

'a tender and raw novel about friendship, chronic pain and the healing power of water.' - Harper's Bazaar

'Katherine Brabon distinguished herself with her first novels, The Memory Artist and The Shut Ins, but she has surpassed these and reached an early career pinnacle with her enigmatically titled novel, Body Friend.'-Books + Publishing

Late in the summer five years ago, when I was recovering from a surgical procedure, I met two women within a few weeks of each other and I saw both of them regularly, always separately, for some months afterwards. Summer did not give way easily that year, and even so we must force our bodies down to sleep in the heat, and even if experience does not give itself up easily to representation, I will lay it down anyway; frame the raw and exigent weeks, the untrustworthy months after the hospital, render it and them, Frida and Sylvia, as closely as possible to reality-or whatever is the feelingof a life and mind lived inside a body.

A woman leaves the hospital after an operation and starts swimming in a pool in Melbourne's inner suburbs. There she meets Frida, who is uncannily like her in her experience of illness. Soon after, she meets another woman in a local park, Sylvia, who sees her pain and encourages her to rest.

The two new friends seem to be polar opposites: Frida adores the pool and the natural world, Sylvia clings to the protection of interior worlds. What begins as two seemingly simple friendships is challenged by what each woman asks of her, of themselves, and their bodies.

From the acclaimed author of The Memory Artist and The Shut Ins comes a new novel about the relationship between body and self, and how we must dive beneath the surface to really know ourselves.


'Body Friend shows that pain can be a friend and a friend can be a mirror, but what they reflect is more than just a mirror image, and contains many possibilities.' -Sydney Morning Herald

'Body Friend is tender and expressive. Brabon's writing is exquisitely constructed. Her prose holds quiet emotional weight - putting the reader in mind, particularly, of Elena Ferrante's style - which is extraordinarily effective in capturing the lived realities of the body. Body Friend is a novel that clings to the mind long after it finishes.' -ArtsHUB

'Its language is startling for its poetic tendencies - it is rhythmic and observant, and liltingly musical - as well as its clarity and sharp concision. Brabon's prose is one of the deepest pleasures of the novel.' -The Saturday Paper

'The plot unfolds artfully and with precision to surprise and exceed readers' expectations.'-Books + Publishing

'A compelling and deeply insightful reckoning with illness, intimacy, estrangement and control, BODY FRIEND is a novel of rare grace. Through the stories of three women whose experiences are both singular and uncannily intertwined, Katherine Brabon illuminates the way chronic pain disrupts familiar narratives about the self and the body, questioning how we might better care for ourselves and each other in all our tender vulnerability. Her sentences are a tonic, offering the clarity and exquisite pleasure of swimming in calm, cool water.' -Madelaine Lucas, author of Thirst for Salt

'Body Friend is a kind of ghost story by stealth, an account of devotion, obsession and chronic pain that reveals a netherworld inside this one. It is told with such delicacy, with such a tender and insistent voice, that it becomes-uncannily, thrillingly-luminous.'-Miles Allinson, author of Fever of Animals and In Moonland

'Brabon writes some of the most beautiful prose I've ever read, and this book is both muted and raw, like pain itself. A love letter to a body, to relationship and connection, and to water, Brabon explores what we need and how we need it with astonishing wisdom and candour.'-Laura McPhee-Browne, author of Cherry Beach and Little Plum

'Katherine Brabon's Body Friend is a tender ode to the recursive mysteries of the body and the need to find ourselves in other people. The narrator's pull between Frida and Sylvia, between effort and surrender, haunted and compelled me. This books speaks to you with a delicate, iron grace, endlessly returning.' -Alyssa Songsiridej, author of Little Rabbit

'At once a feverish investigation of the body's limits and a hypnotic account of city walks, swimming, and friendship. I loved the intimacy of these pages.' -Aysegul Savas, author of The Anthropologists and White on White

'Never before have I read a book with such a compelling investigation of illness and pain, recovery and rest. Brabon writes with unwavering insight and intelligence; Body Friend inspires me to better understand my own friendships, my own life in a body. I tore through it. I will be thinking about this book for a long, long time.' -Anna Hogeland, author of The Long Answer

'An examination of a life in pain that isn't at all painful to read. Fearless and clear-eyed. This book is a gift.' -Karen Havelin, author of Please Read This Leaflet Carefully

'An utterly absorbing, entirely one-of-a-kind novel, Body Friend is an acutely observed exploration of chronic pain, revealing an uncommon richness and resonance behind experiences that so often feel dull and deadening. Beyond that, it's an insightful and fresh meditation on the dualities we all negotiate between mind and body, control and submission, devotion and guilt, hope and despair. The writing-insistent, rhythmic, immersive, sure-is a masterful marriage of content to form: writer as lap-swimmer circling the pool. Reading it feels like a plunge into cool water, both bracing and relieving, as intimately familiar as it's surprising. The gift of this book will stay with me for a long time.' -Helena de Bres, author of How to Be Multiple

Book details and technical specifications

Format: Paperback / softback
ISBN13: 9781761151781
Published: August 2023

Number of pages: 256
Width: 153 mm
Height: 234 mm
Depth: not specified

Publisher: Ultimo Press

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