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The New Animals

The New Animals

Winner of the 2018 Acorn Prize, New Zealand’s highest fiction award, Pip Adam’s The New Animals is a work of artistic ambition and political urgency.

Set in the Auckland fashion scene in 2016, The New Animals moves over the course of one night through the hopes, misapprehensions, resentments, and regrets of a small group of fashion-industry workers, divided by generation and class. The young and rich act like nothing can touch them; the tired Gen-Xers feel forever adrift. On this particularly stressful night, hairdressers, patternmakers, stylists, and a makeup artist are tasked with preparing for a last-minute photoshoot without clothes or clear directions. Caught up in the small dramas of their lives, while around them the world is fast becoming uninhabitable, the group toils against the impossible pressure until one of them decides to break away.

Like a twisted contemporary heir to Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, The New Animals is a brilliant and unforgettable dive beneath the surface of life, uncovering the common ground of humanity, as well as the common plight.