The Performance

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The breakout literary sensation of 2021, THE PERFORMANCE is a tightly woven examination of women's inner lives that is enthralling, profound and deeply human.

The false cold of the theatre makes it hard to imagine the heavy wind outside in the real world, the ash air pressing onto the city from the nearby hills where bushfires are taking hold.
The house lights lower.
The auditorium feels hopeful in the darkness.

As bushfires rage outside the city, three women watch a performance of a Beckett play.

Margot is a successful professor, preoccupied by her fraught relationship with her ailing husband. Ivy is a philanthropist with a troubled past, distracted by the snoring man beside her. Summer is a young theatre usher, anxious about the safety of her girlfriend in the fire zone.

As the performance unfolds, so does each woman's story. By the time the curtain falls, they will all have a new understanding of the world beyond the stage.

Author: Claire Thomas

Paperback Published 23 February 2021 176 pages

'Restrained and adventurous at once, The Performance is a cool, potent meditation on the private intensity of women's lives. An enigmatic, elegant and assured novel that explores the power of art in revealing us to ourselves.' ― Charlotte Wood, author of THE WEEKEND

'Claire Thomas writes with a sure eye and knowing heart.'-Tony Birch, author of BLOOD, GHOST RIVER and THE WHITE GIRL

'I read from start to finish almost without looking up.'-Clare Bowditch, author of YOUR OWN KIND OF GIRL

'Read it as soon as you possibly can.'-Emily Bitto, author of THE STRAYS

'I can't recommend this too highly.'-Patrick Gale, author of A PLACE CALLED WINTER and TAKE NOTHING WITH YOU

'Frequently funny, often profound, The Performance is an unmissable show.'-Emma Stonex, author of THE LAMPLIGHTERS

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