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  • Dialogue Books
  • Dialogue Books

This Brutal House

Niven Govinden

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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

A timely queer protest novel set in the drag ball community of New York City, from a Green Carnation Prize-shortlisted author

GUARDIAN MUST READ BOOKS OF 2019

iNews BEST NEW FICTION 2019

'A symbolic rallying cry for the need for LGBTQ+ teens to have safe spaces of their own'
DAZED BOOKS TO READ IN 2019 'Vivid prose reinventing ideas of motherhood, belonging and taking us into the community of drag balls and protest, both personal and political' JENNI FAGAN

'Fearless, authentic, vivid - necessary in a world that's running out of tolerance' PANOS KARNEZIS

'A vital book' ANDREW MCMILLAN

'A novel of rare intensity and sustained passion, THIS BRUTAL HOUSE shines a light on lives marginalised and magnificent, and asks the pressing question: what would you do to stand up for your truth?' STEPHEN KELMAN

'A powerful and poetic book' KERRY HUDSON

'Niven Govinden is a true force of fierceness and beauty' OLIVIA LIANG

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On the steps of New York's City Hall, five ageing Mothers sit in silent protest. They are the guardians of the vogue ball community - queer men who opened their hearts and homes to countless lost Children, providing safe spaces for them to explore their true selves.

Through epochs of city nightlife, from draconian to liberal, the Children have been going missing; their absences ignored by the authorities and uninvestigated by the police. In a final act of dissent the Mothers have come to pray: to expose their personal struggle beneath our age of protest, and commemorate their loss until justice is served.

Watching from City Hall's windows is city clerk, Teddy. Raised by the Mothers, he is now charged with brokering an uneasy truce.

With echoes of James Baldwin, Marilynne Robinson and Rachel Kushner, Niven Govinden asks what happens when a generation remembered for a single, lavish decade has been forced to grow up, and what it means to be a parent in a confused and complex society.

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Niven Govinden

Niven Govinden is the author of four previous novels, most recently All The Days And Nights which was longlisted for the Folio Prize and shortlisted for the Green Carnation Prize. His second novel Graffiti My Soul is about to go into film production. His third novel Black Bread White Beer won the 2013 Fiction Uncovered Prize. He was a judge for the 2017 4th Estate/Guardian B4ME Prize.

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