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A Room Called Earth

Madeleine Ryan author


Publisher:Scribe Publications

Published:14th Apr '22

Should be back in stock very soon

A Room Called Earth cover

A brilliant debut from a neurodiverse author that explores a young woman’s magical, sensitive, and passionate inner world.

A young woman gets ready to go to a party. She arrives, feels overwhelmed, leaves, and then returns. Minutely attuned to the people who come into her view, and alternating between alienation and profound connection, she is hilarious, self-aware, sometimes acerbic, and always honest. And by the end of the night, she’s shown us something radical about love, loss, and the need to belong.

‘Cinematic and staggeringly beautiful, A Room Called Earth is unlike anything I’ve read before … if you like Jeffrey Eugenides’ luminous prose and Sally Rooney’s crisp insights into human relationships, you’ll love it.’

-- Moya Crockett * Stylist *

‘Extraordinary ... The smart, magical voice Madeleine Ryan has found in A Room Called Earth is unlike anything else you’ll find this year.’

-- Helen Brown * The Independent *

‘As an autistic woman, I rarely see myself in novels, let alone ones that are by us and for us. A Room Called Earth spoke to me on every page.’

-- Naoise Dolan

‘An ordinary night is made totally new through the eyes of the neurodivergent author in this honest debut.’

* Elle *

‘A resolute deep dive into an inner self, a transcendent character study, and a timely reminder that there’s an entire universe inside of everyone we meet. You will be moved.’

-- Matthew Quick, New York Times bestselling author of The Silver Linings Playbook

‘A delicious slice of life on the spectrum … rather than pandering to a pathologised external gaze, Ryan’s narrator evokes how many autistic people see ourselves: the normal ones in a sea of non-autistic weirdos.’

-- Naoise Dolan * The Irish Times *

‘The strength of A Room Called Earth is the space it gives the protagonist to share what life looks like from her perspective, and she covers a wealth of topics as divergent as indigenous rights, self-care, rape culture, Melbourne’s ecology, white privilege, Shakespeare, and electronic music.’

* CultureFly *

‘Heralds the debut of a writer to whom it is worth attending. Flashes of insight, eruptions of startling descriptions, and an original style all add to the excitement of discovering Ryan’s fresh observations of the world around her protagonist. Worth reading slowly to savour this highly engaging perspective and this unique new voice.’

-- Naomi Wolf

‘A daring, prismatic novel about seeing and being seen, and the hunger for universal connection. Madeleine Ryan’s clarity of vision imbues the ordinary — a party, strangers, inner-city streets — with cosmic significance. I came out of A Room Called Earth with fresh eyes and a full heart.’

-- Laura Elizabeth Woollett, author of Beautiful Revolutionary

‘In this precious gemstone of a novel, Ryan communicates a lush, raw, addictive truth with her prosaic yet theatrical prose, her protagonist witnessing the world in a way that had me pausing for long deep breaths after most chapters. The world of this book is the world of a woman who knows herself because she has needed to, and a woman who many might recognise, despite her oneness. Reading Ryan is to be taught and to be refreshed, and I will return to her pages in the future, to remind me of the beauty there is in my own room called earth.’

-- Laura McPhee-Browne, author of Cherry Beach

‘Offers a strikingly unique look at intimacy, identity, and time itself. From now on I want every novel to be this fiercely authentic, this assured, this untethered from the status quo. Madeleine Ryan is a wholly original writer; this debut announces a tremendous talent.’

-- Kimberly King Parsons, author of Black Light

‘[T]he interior monologues are vibrant and revealing. Ryan succeeds in capturing neurodiversity on the page.’

* Publishers Weekly *

‘An honest narration of human experience and how our whirling minds perceive the world. Sensual, raw, real, and down to earth.’

-- Katie Hess, author of Flowerevolution

‘Ryan’s novel covers less than 24 hours, but by book’s end, readers are left feeling remarkably bonded with this fiercely independent young woman … Her piercing insight is relentless.’

* Booklist *

‘[M]uch of the novel’s appeal comes from its illustration and examination of the narrator’s blunt perspective on life and specifically social interaction … Ryan’s ability to convey her narrator’s unique perspective makes it a worthwhile read.’

* Kirkus Reviews *

‘In prose filled with humour and warm light, Madeleine Ryan unearths the bright, luminous soul of each animate and inanimate being she encounters. Instead, remarkably, it is the self shaped by and against social norms that is met as an other. The result is an intelligence that feels not only totally refreshing and original but wonderfully humane.’

-- Meng Jin, author of Little Gods

‘[A] novel that beautifully shatters myths and stereotypes about people considered neurodiverse while celebrating their differing perspectives on life.’ STARRED REVIEW

* Shelf Awareness *

‘The freedom to experience the narrator’s inner world makes room for objective reality. Melbourne’s neighbourhoods come alive … [A Room Called Earth] culminates in unexpected intimacy, not only between the narrator and her new friend, but also between the reader and an extraordinary mind.’

-- Mari Carlson * Book Page *

‘Twenty-four sparkling hours in the life of a neurodiverse woman on a night out to a party.’

* The Millions *

‘Debut novelist Madeleine Ryan is also on the autism spectrum, and it is an absolute joy to read about this night through her eyes – where the protagonist’s thoughts can’t always match her actions, and where connection is all that matters. A Room Called Earth’s greatest strengths are its simplicity and honesty.’

* Bitch Magazine *

‘This debut novel by an autistic Australian woman charts the lively mind of its neurodiverse young heroine.’

* The New York Times’ ‘New & Noteworthy Books’ *

A Room Called Earth felt like a perfect summer’s evening … It was both an extremely enlightening and comforting read … A Room Called Earth is a phenomenal novel which is paving the way of neurological diversity in fiction. The book highlights the normality of this diversity and how a story about an autistic person doesn’t need to come from a place of struggle.’

-- Courtney Dyer * The Book Slut *

A Room Called Earth is intoxicating: a heady rush of sensuality and passion … A Room Called Earth becomes a rich pleasure: lyrical, sumptuous, and saturated with insight. As a debut novel, A Room Called Earth is enigmatic and entirely refreshing. Madeleine Ryan is a writer to watch.’

-- Georgia Brough * Books+Publishing *

‘A sharp, surprising, uncompromising book that treats thinking and watching as sources of real narrative power.’

-- Ronnie Scott, author of The Adversary

‘This is a knockout debut novel from an author with a refreshing, neurodiverse perspective, and a skilled writerly hand. This book made me feel exhilarated about what fiction can do: reading it is a grounding experience that also sets the reader free. I fell completely under its mesmeric spell, and I absolutely loved it.’

-- Alison Huber * Readings *

A Room Called Earth is Madeleine Ryan’s strikingly singular debut. It’s rare that a novel invites you to form such an intimate connection with its protagonist … a completely fresh perspective on a night’s events through neurodivergent eyes.’

* Happy Magazine *

‘This is an interesting, sassy, and unusual book … The protagonist provides an illuminating and often bitingly funny inner commentary … This novel gives a savage insight into what it means to be an Australian, and more specifically a sensitively aware young Australian woman in a world where objectification is still an unwelcome party guest.’

-- Christopher Bantic * The Weekly Times *

‘My favourite read of 2021 so far … it’s phenomenal ... I would reread it in a heartbeat.’

* MercysBookishMusings *

A Room Called Earth is visceral and voluptuous … The book is a quiet celebration of holding dear to the space within yourself and if you look beyond your skin, how earth itself can bring comfort and wonder.’

-- Thuy On * Sydney Morning Herald *

‘Instead of keeping us at arm’s length, Ryan’s narrator allows us to loiter in her brain the entire time, with no feelings or thoughts off-limits. What unfolds is an act of radical generosity. It’s less unfiltered stream of consciousness and more a continuous hum of deeply flawed, compassionate, curious, unpredictable thoughts that reveal a neurodivergent worldview.’

-- Nathania Gilson * The Saturday Paper *

‘Madeleine Ryan takes her reader on a journey into the psyche of this protagonist — and it’s here that this novel gains its wonderful richness … As a neurodiverse writer, Ryan brings a unique voice and refreshing perspective to a character who thinks and lives so differently to others. Being so fully immersed in the mind of this character is a liberating reading experience, and one unlike any other I’ve had in the past.’

-- Ellen Cregan * Kill Your Darlings *

[A Room Called Earth] is a reading experience not unlike navigating a conversation as an autistic person, but also an interesting deconstruction of written dialogue and how context can change with just a few things removed … The way the narrator sees the world and herself is dizzying and magical and, as an autistic woman myself, it was great to read the thoughts of someone who thinks and interacts with the world a bit like me. If you’re after a read to broaden your horizons, this is a great book.’ FIVE STARS

-- Heather Lewis * Good Reading *

‘One of the most extraordinary books of the year … An astonishing sensory experience.’

-- Cheryl Akle * The Weekend Australian *

‘[An] extraordinary achievement … Ryan’s debut novel glows with the spookily authentic heat of existentialism on the spectrum … remarkable.’

-- Ian McFarlane * Bendigo Advertiser *

‘This debut novel from Australian autistic writer, Madeleine Ryan, tells an extraordinary story of a fiercely original young woman whose radical self-acceptance illuminates a new way of being in the world and opens up a whole new realm of understanding and connection.’

* Canowindra Phoen

ISBN: 9781914484063

Dimensions: 198mm x 129mm x 18mm

Weight: unknown

304 pages