A Loving, Faithful Animal: A Novel by Josephine Rowe
"A slim beauty . . . I found myself considering those rare things only books can do, feats outside the purview of film or fine art . . . A work of such well-defined characters, each so carefully drawn as to breathe, and a work so full of stark emotional moments . . . Gorgeous, precise language encourages inner storms . . . Like the best of Breece D'J Pancake or W.G. Sebald, Rowe plants small moments from history as a soldier might bury landmines." —Samantha Hunt, The New York Times Book Review
"A Loving, Faithful Animal lured me in with astonishing, poetic prose, and a glimpse of an Australia I don’t always see in fiction. But the true thrill of the novel is the carousel of haunting characters Josephine Rowe creates with unbelievable precision. An unflinching look at the ways we fail the people we love, at the cruelty of family, its toxicity, and beauty. The book is a deep, multi-faceted portrait of the inheritance of damage, one that left me aching and inspired." —Stephanie Danler,New York Times bestselling author of Sweetbitter
It is New Year’s Eve 1990, in a small town in southeast Australia. Ru's father, Jack, one of thousands of Australians once conscripted to serve in the Vietnam War, has disappeared. This time Ru thinks he might be gone for good. As rumors spread of a huge black cat stalking the landscape beyond their door, the rest of the family is barely holding on. Ru’s sister, Lani, is throwing herself into sex, drugs, and dangerous company. Their mother, Evelyn, is escaping into memories of a more vibrant youth. And meanwhile there is Les, Jack’s inscrutable brother, who seems to move through their lives like a ghost, earning both trust and suspicion.
A Loving, Faithful Animal is an incandescent portrait of one family searching for what may yet be redeemable from the ruins of war. Tender, brutal, and heart-stopping in its beauty, this novel marks the arrival in the United States of the winner of the 2016 Elizabeth Jolley Prize, one of Australia’s most extraordinary young writers.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Josephine Rowe was born in 1984 in Rockhampton, Australia, and grew up in Melbourne. In the United States her writing has appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, The Iowa Review, TheParis Review Daily, and other publications. She holds fellowships from the Wallace Stegner Program in fiction at Stanford University, the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, the Omi International Arts Center, and Yaddo. In 2016, her fiction won the Elizabeth Jolley Prize in Australia. She currently lives in Tasmania.