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Author: Catriona Shine


ISBN: 9781843518877

Date: 7th March, 2024


  1. Categories

  2. Speculative Fiction
  3. Architecture
  4. Social Impact


Habitat follows seven neighbours over the course of a surreal and life-changing week as their mid-century apartment building in Oslo begins to inexplicably break down around them. Connected by familial ties, long acquaintance, simmering feuds and longing glimpses, the residents of the building are bound to one another in more ways than they know. As each inhabitant is touched by strange and sinister phenomena, and their apartment-sized worlds begin to fray at the seams, they struggle to grasp that this is a shared crisis that cannot be borne alone. This remarkable debut novel from one of Ireland's most promising emerging talents is a startling parable of our uncertain age, as well as a beautiful and inciteful examination of how we deal with seismic events beyond our comprehension and how we can only truly find meaning through shared understanding. 'In this unsettling contemporary fable, which is a brilliant analogy for our collective apathy in the face of environmental destruction, Shine depicts a disparate group of characters, each of whom is isolated in their struggle to manage impending chaos in an apartment block in Oslo. Lucid and uncanny, the story lingers long in the mind.' Cathy Sweeney 'Truly uncanny - a novel that marries the cosmic nightmare of Darren Aronofsky's Mother! with the sociological portraits of Ken Loach. Chapter by chapter, in the face of forces that are undeniable and elemental, Habitat's domesticated world of rules and regulations deforms itself into something unsettling and eerily recognisable. I've never read anything quite like it.' Colin Walsh 'Shine's gaze is fresh, observant and unsettling. Habitat is an inventive and compelling read, a remarkable debut from an immensely talented writer.' Danielle McLaughlin 'Habitat is an uncanny fable of, and for, a disintegrating world - a bold and strikingly original debut from a sophisticated new voice in Irish fiction.' Lucy Caldwell

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