Lioness

Out now

You know how we say we devoured a story, and also that we were consumed by it? Eating and being eaten. It was like that with Claire, for me.

From humble beginnings, Therese has let herself grow used to a life of luxury after marrying into an empire-building family. But when rumours of corruption gather around her husband’s latest development, the social opprobrium is shocking, the fallout swift, and Therese begins to look at her privileged and insular world with new eyes.

In the flat below Therese, something else is brewing. Her neighbour Claire believes she’s discovered the secret to living with freedom and authenticity, freeing herself from the mundanity of domesticity. Therese finds herself enchanted by the lure of the permissive zone Claire creates in her apartment – a place of ecstatic release.

All too quickly, Therese is forced to confront herself and her choices – just how did she become this person? And what exactly should she do about it?

SHORTLISTED FOR THE OCKHAM NEW ZEALAND BOOK AWARDS
a book cover with text to the left of it that says, "The most exciting novel I've read in ages...I gulped it down." Marian Keyes. Read it now.
BETTER READING’S BOOK OF THE WEEK
SELECTED AS DYMOCKS AUSTRALIA’S FICTION BOOK OF THE MONTH
AN APPLE BOOKS PICK FOR ‘WHAT TO READ THIS MONTH’

Reviews and Media for Lioness

 

REVIEWS AND ENDORSEMENTS

‘A bold, exuberant and illuminating exploration of identity… already my book of the year.’ Books and Publishing

‘… the very best book of any kind – the most artful, the most able to give sheer pleasure – is Lioness.’ Newsroom, Book of the Year

‘Complex, funny, poignant, high-stakes – everything you want from a novel.’ The Spinoff Books of the Year

‘Intelligent and seductive, Lioness will elicit as much contemplation about capitalism and the failures of feminism, as it will furious page-turning.’ Primer Books of the Year

‘A belting evisceration of the upper-middle class told so vividly it would make a great movie.’ The Big Issue Australia, Top 10 Books of 2023

‘A deeply socially astute writer… one of those people who can really make the world sing… I loved it.’ Elizabeth Knox for Best Books, Radio New Zealand

‘Skilful, alluring.’ NZ Listener Books of the Year

‘I was so gripped by this astoundingly good book. It’s rich, disturbing, deep, sharp and unputdownable.’ Charlotte Wood

‘HUGELY enjoyable, intelligent, interesting, challenging, I cannot TELL you the reading pleasure it gave me.’
Marian Keyes

‘It’s like Anton Chekhov and Evelyn Waugh had a test tube baby and sent her to NZ to write.’ Robyn Malcolm

‘The nuance of Lioness’s portrait of a mid-life personal and political awakening is extremely seductive’ Financial Times

‘Lioness cocks a coolly ironic snook at the lie of modern feminism… this is an excellent novel’ The Times

‘She is not afraid to take on the uncomfortable, the off-limits… intoxicating’ The Conversation

‘A novel that has fun skewering privilege…Perkins delivers with vigour and mirth.’ Sydney Morning Herald, Book of the Day

‘Riveting and deeply perceptive… highly recommend’ Better Reading

‘Scorching… a refreshingly honest, piercing take.’ NZ Listener

‘Masterful in the way it confronts the concept of choice.’  The Spinoff

‘A bold new novel about a midlife female reckoning’ Primer

‘Few people write sharper sentences than Perkins does.’ North and South Magazine

‘A wordsmith at the height of her powers’ @thebibliofilles 

‘Midlife crisis meets midlife magic in this slippery tale of shifting power.’ Marie Claire Magazine 

‘Trust us, this novel is perfection.’ Glamour Magazine

 

MEDIA

Link to the Bloomsbury book page

ABC The Book Show interview with Claire Nichols

‘[Lioness is] brilliant, hilarious’ Virginia Fallon, Sunday Star-Times interview

North & South interview with Colin Hogg

‘Emily Perkins on Identity, Visibility and Feminism’ for The Stories Behind the Story with Better Reading

‘Razor-sharp… blistering’ interview with Mel Fulton on 3RRR’s Literati Glitterati

Nine to Noon interview with Kathryn Ryan on RNZ about Lioness and other work

‘Well worth waiting for’ A write-up of Emily’s Writers on Mondays event at Te Papa

Emily appears at the Word Christchurch Festival, August 2023

Emily discusses Lioness in a panel on The Feminine Gaze at the Jaipur International Literary Festival

Pip Adam previews books to look forward to on Radio New Zealand

Read an extract (PDF 240KB)