A group of friends moves into a share house in Redfern. They are all on the cusp of thirty and big life changes, navigating insecure employment and housing, second-generation identity, online dating and social alienation—and one of them, our narrator, has just lost her father.
How do you inhabit a space where the landscape is shifting around you, when your sense of self is unravelling? What meaning does time have in the midst of grief?
PRAISE FOR FRIENDS & DARK SHAPES
“An intimate, epiphanic portrait of millennial city life...Bedford, filtering her Didionesque prose (and her protagonist’s Didionesque generational cataloguing) through a wider emotional lens, excels at.
Like Helen Garner and Christos Tsiolkas’ own debuts, Bedford’s is more concerned with taking the pulse of young, artistically-minded people alive and struggling through the city’s struggle, slipping and sinking through the every-nothing days of urban anomie and insecure work and relationships”
“Bedford writes extraordinarily moving sentences and it's exciting to see this level of talent in a first novel”
“Bedford weaves a blanket of words that fans of complex literary fiction will fall into and savor.”
“Astonishingly assured and full of razor sharp observations about what it means to live precariously in a changing city. It’s hard to believe this is Bedford’s first novel.”
—Jenny Offill, author of Dept. of Speculation and Weather
“This is a book steeped in the hedonism and the angst of youth and it carries an overwhelming flavour of the present age – one of self-absorption, emotional disconnection, anxiety about the future. The zeitgeist, of course, is always the last thing anyone needs right now. And the narrator swims against it, with some of the most affecting passages involving the submerged grief of recent bereavement. ”
—The Sydney Morning Herald
My major themes of exploration dwell on place—drawing on how the organization of space and architecture are connected with the politics and lived experience of place and urban experience—and the perspective of the ‘outsider’ and migrant voices in literature.