The Paper House
Longlisted for the Matt Richell Award
"There's something magical about The Paper House." The Sydney Morning Herald
And then I was pregnant, and we realised we had no space for a baby.
We looked at all kinds of houses: big, new ones with columns and render; little cottages with beaten weatherboard; a yellow brick monstrosity with a paved yard where there should have...more
This is the debut novel for Anna Spargo-Ryan, who writes beautifully and powerfully about mental illness. It's a subject I wish I understood better, because if I did, it might have occurred to me a lot sooner to start questioning what in the story was real and what wasn't. Don't ...more
Anna tells a story that is both heartwarming and heartbreaking, with a gentle tenderness that is evident in every word on the page. Dealing with issues such as mental illness, childloss and the intricacies of family isn't an easy task, yet Anna does so with a delicate, empathetic hand allowing the ...more
The writing is spirited and evocative. I was in that garden with Heather, her pain was palpable. There was so much insight and understanding here, it was heartbreaking yet hopeful.
I adored this, an incredible debut. I can't wait to read whatever Anna writes next.
It would have been so easy to add one, or a hundred cliches in this book - there are none.
Read this. Then make everyone you know read it.
While it was beautiful, I'm not sure I would read it again. I found the portrayal of the men/women, carer/cared-for dynamics a little bit off and odd. All of the main female characters in this book (Heather, Fleur, their mum and Sylvia) are all cared for as a focus of the novel (i.e. we only ...more
You would think a book that tells the story of a woman falling into a spiral of anxiety, depression, and mental illness after her daughter is still-born would be a dark, bleak, impossible read, but The Paper House is almost the opposite. The subject matter is dark, but Anna's use of language is remarkable and playful, the ...more
Anna won the 2016 Horne Prize for her essay "The Suicide Gene". You can find her other work in Best Australian Essays, Kill Your Darlings, Meanjin, Overland, The Lifted Brow, Seizure, The Guardian, The Big Issue, and many other places.