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Waiting for Elijah

A brilliant new voice in Australian nonfiction, this is the stunning debut by former ABC journalist Kate Wild for fans of Helen Garner and Chloe Hooper.

In 2009, in the NSW country town of Armidale, a mentally ill young man is shot dead by a police officer. Senior Constable Andrew Rich claims he ‘had no choice’ other than to shoot 24-year-old Elijah Holcombe—Elijah had run at him roaring with a knife, he tells police. Some witnesses to the shooting say otherwise, though, and this act of aggression doesn’t fit with the sweet, sensitive, but troubled young man that Elijah’s family and friends knew him to be. The shooting devastates Elijah’s family and the police officer alike. So what happened in that Armidale laneway—and how could it have been avoided?

Written with clear-eyed compassion and a compelling narrative drive, Waiting for Elijah is an account of a tragedy that didn’t have to happen. It is also an intense, forensic deconstruction of the extended legal proceedings that followed, and a heartbreaking portrait of a family’s grief.

Publication date: 28 May 2018.

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