This Other Eden jacket 19Jan24
2024 Longlist

This Other Eden

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ABOUT
THE BOOK

Paul Harding’s breath-taking novel is inspired by the true story of Malaga Island, an isolated island off the coast of Maine that became one of the first racially integrated towns in the Northeast. In 1792, formerly enslaved Benjamin Honey and his Irish wife, Patience, discover an island where they can make a life together. Over a century later, the Honeys’ descendants and a diverse group of neighbors are desperately poor but nevertheless protected from the hostility on the mainland. During the summer of 1912, Matthew Diamond, a retired, idealistic but prejudiced schoolteacher-turned-missionary, disrupts the community’s fragile balance. (Bibliotheca Alexandrina) This Other Eden is an exceptional novel. It is lyrically expressed historical fiction which is “a tribute to community and human dignity.” (Rachel Seiffert, The Guardian) The main characters are complex, with compelling stories that take on mythical overtones. Paul Harding paints a vibrant and nuanced picture of family and community, as the narrative moves inexorably towards a tragedy which still resonates today. Selected for the 2023 Booker Prize long list. Originally published in the United States, the Canadian Rights were astutely acquired by Goose Lane Editions, a small, independent New Brunswick publisher with a reputation for a strong literary catalogue. (Saint John Free Public Library)

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Paul
Harding

Paul Harding is the author of Tinkers, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and Enon. He is director of the MFA in Creative Writing & Literature at Stony Brook University, and lives on Long Island, New York. Photo Credit: Sam Harding

Paul Harding is the author of Tinkers, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and Enon. He is director of the MFA in Creative Writing & Literature at Stony Brook University, and lives on Long Island, New York. Photo Credit: Sam Harding

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NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

Based on the true history of Malaga Island, This Other Eden by Paul Harding depicts the tragic tale of the segregation against many a family of both Black and mixed races. By the use of Biblical allusions, Noah’s Ark in particular, the plot mainly revolves around the descendants of Patience, who was Irish, and Benjamin, a runaway slave. The island in the novel receives the allegorical name ‘Apple’, on which the clash between the sweeping colonial powers of intolerance and injustice, represented in the figure of the reverent Matthew Diamond, a missionary and retired schoolteacher from the mainland, and the segregated non-white inhabitants of the island. (

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
03/02/2023
Country
United States
Original Language
English
Author
Publisher
W. W. Norton & Company
Borrow this book from Libraries Ireland

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