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NSW Premier's Literary Awards 2024

The God of No Good


By: Sita Walker

Paperback | 1 February 2023

At a Glance


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This is not a book about divorce. It’s not a book about God, either. You might think it is a book about goodness and what it means to be a good person, but it isn’t. Like everything else, this is about love.

Sita Walker was raised by five strong matriarchs who taught her to believe in God and to be good. Her grandmother, mother and three aunts believed in their unshakeable Bahá’í faith, in the power of prayer, in sacrifice, in magic, in the healing of turmeric and tea, and the wisdom of dreams.

But as hard as she tries to be good, Sita always suspects that deep down, she isn’t very good at all.

At thirty-five, she hasn’t prayed in years, her dream of true love has died, and along with it, her faith – not that she’s telling her mother, or her aunts. Now, the only way she can fulfill her destiny is to seek out the wisdom of the ones who came before, and truly understand the women who raised her. But will they understand her? Either way, the matriarchy will never be the same again.

Traversing decades and continents – from Iran to India, Sri Lanka to the Czech Republic, Adelaide to the Torres Strait – The God of No Good is a beautifully lyrical and funny intergenerational memoir about six women and how their lives intertwine. Filled with wit and wisdom, it is a story that only Sita Walker could tell, but it will resonate with readers everywhere.

About the Author

Sita Walker is an English and Literature high school teacher in Brisbane. Her first piece, Love in the Time of Grandmother, was shortlisted in the SBS Emerging Writers Competition and was published by Hardie Grant in the anthology, Roots: Home is Who We Are. Before that, she dabbled in blogging and wrote short letters to her students. The God of No Good is her debut book.
Industry Reviews
'Deeply moving. Seriously saddening, too. But most of the time I was snort-laughing across the suburbs from my back deck. And the themes of the book remind one to feel so damn grateful for the privilege of a belly howl. The whole thing builds on cross-beams of time and memory to one glorious proclamation that has the reader fist-pumping for Sita Walker because she's dug so effing deep to find a truth so powerful it can't help but explode like fireworks across the final page.' -- Trent Dalton, author of All Our Shimmering Skies

'I was told that I'd be hooked from the first page, and you will be, too.'

-- Caroline Overington * The Australian *
'a witty memoir about Sita and the five matriarchs who raised her with love and their strong Baha'i faith (but when was the last time Sita prayed? She can't remember.) The God of No Good is Nora Ephron-esque' * Harper's Bazaar *
'readable, relatable and valuable' * Sydney Morning Herald *
'Walker has crafted a beautiful tapestry of stories from the lives of her parents and grandparents as she wrestles with doubt and the Baha'i religion with which she was raised ... Some of her descriptions are so achingly beautiful that I marked the pages to come back to them.' * Artshub *
'It's hard to believe that The God of No Good is Sita Walker's first book ... Walker's memoir reads like a novel and is by turns haunting and hilarious. She has an effortless way with prose, capturing something essential about everyday moments with a deft turn of phrase ...' * Readings Monthly *
'Through vignettes that cross generations and international borders, Walker paints a portrait of her family history and the five matriarchs that raised her, all while exploring the dwindling relationship to her Baha?i faith and the dissolution of her marriage.' * RUSSH *

'Gestures of love leave the deepest imprint, be it Walker's grandmother brewing masala chai or plucking a jam-coated chapati from her apron pocket. The God of No Good is a moving debut exploding with heart, warmth and wisdom, for fans of Zadie Smith, Alice Pung and Candice Carty-Williams.'

* Books+Publishing *
'Walker has an eagle ear for dialogue, an eye for absurdity, and is drolly self-deprecating. She tells us that this is "no post-divorce Eat, Pray, Love". But on a more modest scale, it is - as told by Nora Ephron.' * Daily Mail UK *

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