We were the dead without an afterlife, ruining the lives of the living. We drifted through neighbourhoods in small packs, clinging to each other, all but alone. Our parents had given up. Packed their photos and furniture and moved to the forest to live simpler lives. But we stayed because there was nowhere else to go. We sold everything for rent — time, dignity, self-respect. Beneath the shiny new paint jobs and streets paved with debt lay our home.
Stuck in a dead-end office job, Zlata hopes for a record deal so she can escape Auckland city. Then at party she meets Hamish, a graffiti artist and part-time drug dealer. Each has their own ideas about the other’s life, and surrounded by a makeshift family of friends and ex-lovers, their dreams of music, art and travel take shape.
But as quickly as things come together, they can be torn apart — unravelling relationships and lives.
“It’s not common in New Zealand society to wear the word ‘poor’ proudly on your sleeve. To conjure prose from poverty. To draw on your turmoils and shitty food and old things and create literature that speaks proudly of your roots. Yet Dominic Hoey … sends ‘fuck yous’ to classists and the wealthy.”
– India Hendrikse, Metro
“It’s kind of renegade literature … [this] book has an energy conspicuously absent in much New Zealand fiction.”
– Steve Braunias, The Spinoff