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An extraordinary, powerful novel for readers of Charlotte Wood and Sofie Laguna. What might drive a mother to do the unthinkable?



About the book

Before: Emma Cormac married into a perfect life but now she’s barely coping. Inside a brand-new, palatial home, her three young children need more than she can give. Clem, a wilful four-year-old, is intent on mimicking her grandmother, the formidable matriarch Pat Cormac. Arthur is almost three and still won’t speak. At least baby Robbie is perfect. He’s the future of the family. So why can’t Emma hold him without wanting to scream?

Beyond their gleaming windows, a lake vista is evaporating. The birds have mostly disappeared, too. All over Shorehaven, the Cormac family buys up land to develop into cheap housing for people they openly scorn.

After: The summers have grown even fiercer and the Cormac name doesn’t mean what it used to. Arthur has taken it abroad, far from a family unable to understand him. Clem is a young artist who turns obsessively to the same dark subject. Pat doesn’t even know what legacy means now. Not since the ground started sinking beneath her.

Meanwhile, a nameless woman has been released from state care. She sticks to her 12-step program, recites her affirmations, works one day at a time on a humble life devoid of ambition or redemption. How can she have an after when baby Robbie doesn’t?

Read an extract here.


About the author

Briohny Doyle is the author of the novel The Island Will Sink and the memoir Adult Fantasy. Her fiction, poetry and essays have appeared in the Monthly, Meanjin, Overland, Griffith Review, Good Weekend, the Guardian and the Sunday Times. She’s performed at the Sydney Festival and Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney and is a lecturer in writing and literature at Deakin University and a 2020 Fulbright Scholar. Echolalia is her second novel.


Advance praise

‘Echolalia just kept surprising me—every time I thought I could take it for granted it shook me up all over again. It’s so great to read a novel that incorporates climate change as a lived reality rather than a futuristic dystopia, and that interweaves it with capitalism and colonialism and class issues. Briohny has formidable talent and exceptional skill.’
—Jane Rawson             

‘Briohny Doyle is one of the most original writers working today. In Echolalia, she finds out things we don’t want to know about women and men, land and climate, how they break and what sustains them, and renders them in gorgeous prose and amazing empathy. This is a beautiful, calm, frightening novel that digs into the unconscious of settler Australia and tells it like a lucid fever dream.’
—Ronnie Scott        

‘Echolalia, Briohny Doyle’s skilful second novel, concerns a family on the verge of disintegration. Skipping elegantly between chapters set before and after a traumatic event that changes the family irrevocably, it explores not only the aftermath of the event in question, but also its impetus. Echolalia is an ambitious book, tackling the enormous impact of trauma and how the lineage of misogyny is passed down through the generations, as well as how climate change ravages a landscape, but Doyle’s assured and empathetic writing is more than up to the task.’
—Jack Rowland, Books+Publishing

‘A wonderful novel, beautifully written. Five stars.’
—Rowena Morcom, Good Reading Magazine


Reading copy giveaway

Enter for your chance to win 1 of 5 copies of Echolalia, the extraordinary new novel from Briohny Doyle.




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Matthia Dempsey

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