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Phosphorescence : The inspiring bestseller and multi award-winning book from the author of Bright Shining - Julia Baird


The inspiring bestseller and multi award-winning book from the author of Bright Shining

By: Julia Baird

Paperback | 5 April 2023

At a Glance


RRP $29.99


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The national bestseller, Phosphorescence is a beautiful, intimate and inspiring investigation into how we can find and nurture within ourselves that essential quality of internal happiness – the 'light within' – which will sustain us even through the darkest times.

Over the last decade, we have become better at knowing what brings us contentment, well-being and joy. We know, for example, that there are a few core truths to the science of happiness. We know that being kind and altruistic makes us happy, that turning off devices, talking to people, forging relationships, living with meaning and delving into the concerns of others offer our best chance of achieving happiness. But how do we retain happiness? It often slips out of our hands as quickly as we find it. So, when we are exposed to, or learn, good things, how do we continue to burn with them?

And more than that, when our world goes dark, when we're overwhelmed by illness or heartbreak, loss or pain, how do we survive, stay alive or even bloom? In the muck and grit of a daily existence full of disappointments and a disturbing lack of control over many of the things that matter most – finite relationships, fragile health, fraying economies, a planet in peril – how do we find, nurture and carry our own inner, living light – a light to ward off the darkness?

An intimate, achingly beautiful and inspiring exploration of the ways we can pursue awe, wonder and purpose, from one of our best, most perceptive writers.

About the Author

Julia Baird is a bestselling author and award-winning journalist. She hosts The Drum on ABC TV and writes columns for a range of publications including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and the New York Times . Her first book, Media Tarts (2004, revised edition 2021) was based on her history PhD about the portrayal of female politicians. Her biography of Queen Victoria was published in 2016 to critical acclaim and was one of the New York Times' top ten books of 2016. Her third book, Phosphorescence (Fourth Estate, 2020), was a critically acclaimed, multi-award-winning international bestseller. Julia lives near the sea with two children and an abnormally large dog.
Industry Reviews
'Like spending an evening with a wonderful friend, with unlimited time and a glass of good wine in hand … A beautiful and rallying read' - The Australian

'Julia Baird's new, beautiful consideration of the things that glow through the murk … a book such as this one – one that aims to provoke delight and wonder and comfort, that is at its heart trying to find answers or modes of connection, or light – is of the moment in the best possible way' - The Guardian

'Intelligent and emotionally astute ... Many will find sustenance in reading it' -Sydney Morning Herald

'That is the beauty of this profound book. It transports you into all the deep, inner yearnings you've had for a long time, and then articulates them for you ... I could rave about this gem of a book forever. We need this book. You need this book. It is the perfect gift for us all right now. It is perfect' - Better Reading

'Julia Baird is an alchemist, turning the dross of her life's harshest blows into shimmering prose. Both timeless and timely, this is a book of wisdom and wonder.' - Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of March and Caleb's Crossing

'This book is a love letter to the world by a brilliant writer who nearly left it. Julia Baird has gone into the depths of human experience-her own, and others'-and come back with this luminous and profound celebration of people and the planet. Phosphorescence is a treasure to read and re-read your whole life.' - Anna Funder, author of All That I Am and Stasiland

'I loved this book. A cupped hand full of light in a darkened world. A collection of glittering curios. I'll hold it close in trying times.' - Cal Flyn, author of Islands of Abandonment

Other Editions and Formats


Published: 23rd March 2020

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