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Pet : A new novel from the Women's Prize longlisted author of Remote Sympathy - Catherine Chidgey


A new novel from the Women's Prize longlisted author of Remote Sympathy

By: Catherine Chidgey

Paperback | 1 August 2023

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When a charismatic new teacher arrives, everyone longs to be her pet. A gripping story of deception and guilt, set in a Catholic school during the 1980s.

The new novel from the Women's Prize for Fiction longlisted and Dublin Literary Award shortlisted author of Remote Sympathy

“Chidgey is a find.”-Times Literary Supplement

“A writer of formidable resources, a deft stylist possessed of uncanny imaginative acuity.”-The Guardian

Like every other girl in her class, twelve-year-old Justine is drawn to her glamorous, charismatic new teacher and longs to be her pet. However, when a thief begins to target the school, Justine's sense that something isn't quite right grows ever stronger. With each twist of the plot, this gripping story of deception and the corrosive power of guilt takes a yet darker turn. Young as she is, Justine must decide where her loyalties lie.

Set in New Zealand in the 1980s and probing themes of racism, misogyny and the oppressive reaches of Catholicism, Pet will take a rightful place next to other classic portraits of childhood betrayal: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, The Go-Between, Heavenly Creatures and Au Revoir Les Enfants among them.

About the Author

Catherine Chidgey is an award-winning and bestselling New Zealand novelist and short-story writer. Her first novel, In a Fishbone Church, won the Betty Trask Award. Golden Deeds was Time Out's book of the year, a Best Book in the LA Times Book Review and a Notable Book in the New York Times Book Review. Her most recent novel, Remote Sympathy, was shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award and longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction.
Industry Reviews
'Chidgey is a find.' - Times Literary Supplement

'A writer of formidable resources, a deft stylist possessed of uncanny imaginative acuity.' - The Guardian

'An artist who may claim a perfect ear, an exquisite tone.' - Evening Post

'Intelligent, lyrical, disciplined and observant, she is the real deal, the star of her generation' - New Zealand Listener magazine

'Highly original and deeply researched, Catherine Chidgey's Remote Sympathy is a powerful and disturbing study in terrible lies and the human need to believe them.' - Annie Proulx (on Remote Sympathy)

'A sly psychological thriller... Chidgey is an agile writer, and here fuses pacey storytelling with some resonant metaphors.' - The Observer

'Crisply written and full of moments of delight.' -  The Independent

'The slippery science of perception is the animating theme of Pet, a slow-burn psychological thriller.' - The Telegraph

'Beguiling.... Chidgey's writing is confident and controlled as she pushes the novel towards its dramatic conclusion.' - Literary Review

'Unnervingly realistic... a chilling tale of childhood vulnerability and violence.' - Financial Times

'With precision and economy, Chidgey captures the cruelty of pubescents, as well as the casual racism and misogyny of the absorbing page-turner.'- Daily Mail

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