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The stunning novel about three generations of a Lebanese-Australian family and the crime that almost breaks them.

Why UQP loves Losing Face

Losing Face is the best kind of contemporary novel, one that reflects Australian life back to the reader in all its complexity. I loved the flawed yet oh-so-real characters; George Haddad inhabits both Joey and his grandmother Elaine with consummate ease. I was riveted by their tribulations, their mutual misunderstandings and, late on, I was literally on the edge of my seat. This is a compelling, unforgettable read.’
—Aviva Tuffield, Publisher

‘This novel is soaked in heart and grit. It made me uneasy, it made me laugh, it made me angry, it made me think. I could not put it down. Joey and Elaine walked right off the page and into my mind and they’re showing no signs of departing. Bravo George Haddad! I cannot wait for readers to be as captivated by this book as I was.’
—Jean Smith, Senior Publicist

‘What I love about Losing Face is how George shows us that several things can be true at once. Joey and Elaine are enraged and apologetic; contemptible and sympathetic; miles apart and exactly the same. The magic is George’s generous and nuanced form of storytelling that is utterly compelling.’
—Margot Lloyd, Senior Editor

‘This is a gripping depiction of modern Australia and modern masculinity. George’s characters are wonderfully, painfully real.’
—Kirsty Wilson, Sales Manager

About the book

Joey is young, indifferent. He’s drifting around Western Sydney unaware that his passivity is leading him astray. And then one day he is involved in a violent crime, one that threatens to upend his life entirely.

Elaine, his grandmother, is a proud Lebanese woman with problems of her own. When Joey is arrested, she is desperate to save face and hold herself together. In her family, history repeats itself, vices come and go, and uncovering long-buried secrets isn’t always cathartic.

This gripping and hard-hitting novel reveals the richness and complexity of contemporary Australian life and tests the idea that facing consequences will make us better people.

About the author

George Haddad is an award-winning writer and artist practising on Gadigal land whose work explores masculinities and the limitations of language in communicating truths. His novella, Populate and Perish, was the winner of the 2016 Viva La Novella competition and his short story ‘Kátharsis’ was awarded the 2018 Neilma Sidney Prize. Haddad is currently a doctoral candidate and sessional tutor at the Writing and Society Research Centre, Western Sydney University.

With Losing Face I set out to write a novel that commented on the oscillation of shame and masculinities in the suburban space. The characters reflect the type of people in society who are often spoken about but have little voice. I was born in Australia to Lebanese settlers and so I grew up trying to balance myself between two cultures. This too became an increasingly important aspect of the novel as I wrote.

The themes of the novel are intended to shed light on identities that are not often celebrated in literature and to ignite a timely conversation about sexual assault, identity, genealogy, sexuality and the importance of place. The characters are the people we might sit next to on a train or at a café – strangers we live in such close proximity to but know nothing about. For that reason, I hope it is a novel for anyone who is interested in people living among people.

Publication of Losing Face will be supported by east-coast author events and a digital and outdoor advertising campaign.

To be in the running to receive one of twenty advance reading copies, please email Jean Smith, Senior Publicist, UQP.




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Kelsey Oldham

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Matthia Dempsey

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