Emily BittoOn his first night in New York City, he sought out a man to give him something - as travellers and people in end times have long done before him - some rich hyper-distilled substance to help him feel at one with the seething glorious doomed mass around him or else to heighten his separateness into an exquisite reverie.
In fall of 2011, a heartbroken young Australian man travels to the USA. Landing in the excessive, uncanny-familiar glamour and plenitude of New York City, Will makes a vow to say yes to everything that comes his way. By fate or random chance, Will's journey takes him deep into the American heartland where he meets Wayne Gage, a fast-living, troubled Vietnam veteran, would-be spirit guide and collector of exotic animals.
These two men in crisis form an unlikely friendship, but Will has no idea just how close to the edge Wayne truly is.
Wild Abandon is a headlong tumble through the falling world of end-days capitalism, a haunting, hyperreal snapshot of our own strange times. We read with increasing horror and denial as we approach the cataclysmic conclusion of Will's American odyssey, dreading what is galloping towards us, but utterly unable to look away.
This lyrical and devastating new novel from the Stella Prize-winning author of The Strays offers us startling and profound visions of the world and our place in it.
'Emily Bitto writes superbly textured prose, granular with detail. Here is her sumptuous, freewheeling riff on the getting of wisdom. Wild Abandon is thrilling and heartbreaking by turns - a glorious novel.' - Michelle de Kretser, twice winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award for Questions of Travel and The Life to Come.