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?
Reviews and Media for Lioness
REVIEWS AND ENDORSEMENTS
‘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.’
‘It’s like Anton Chekhov and Evelyn Waugh had a test tube baby and sent her to NZ to write.’ Robyn Malcolm
‘A bold, exuberant and illuminating exploration of identity… already my book of the year.’ Books and Publishing
‘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
‘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
‘Trust us, this novel is perfection.’ Glamour Magazine
‘A bold new novel about a midlife female reckoning’ Primer
‘Midlife crisis meets midlife magic in this slippery tale of shifting power.’ Marie Claire Magazine
Link to the Bloomsbury book page
ABC The Book Show interview with Claire Nichols
‘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