Title: Attraction Author: Ruby Porter Genre: Literary Fiction Release Date: April 14, 2020 Cover Designer: Imogen Stubbs Hosted by: Buoni Amici Press, LLC.
The present reckons with the past in Attraction, Ruby Porter’s atmospheric debut novel.
Three women are on a road trip, navigating the motorways of the North Island, their relationships with one another and New Zealand’s colonial history. Our narrator doesn’t know where she stands with Ilana, her not-quite girlfriend. She has a complex history with her best friend, Ashi. She’s haunted by the memory of her emotionally abusive ex-boyfriend. And her period’s now weeks late.
Attraction is a meditative novel of connection, inheritance and the stories we tell ourselves. In lyrical fragments, Porter explores what it means to be and to belong, to create and to destroy.
My mum buys her lotto tickets from that Mobil. She rings ten minutes after I leave to remind me to pick one up. —Somewhere lucky. Maybe Matamata, or Thornton. Get it where you feel the pull.
I say, —Okay, Helen, and hang up.
I’ve always called her that, because I have two mums. She met Chris not long after I was born, and Chris moved in when I was eighteen months old. They were together for ten years. My dad was never really on the scene.
My earliest memories don’t come in images, but in thoughts. Realising it was my third birthday. Wondering what to call my mums. Recognising Helen walking down the road, while in a car with Chris. I haven’t retained the picture of her, or the road, just that knowing. Maybe it shocked me that her life existed outside of our house. Maybe it shocked me that her life existed outside of mine.
I say, —What’s your first memory? No matter how vague.
—It’s not vague, Ilana says. —Falling into the bath. I don’t remember the feeling, but I remember the view of the ceiling.
Through the soft light of water.
—And I remember Mum, pulling me out. That was the scariest part, her being that frightened. You know, cos I was a kid.
Ruby Porter is a prose-writer, poet and artist. She tutors creative writing at the University of Auckland, and in high schools. Ruby was the winner of the Wallace Foundation Short Fiction Award in 2017, and the inaugural winner of the Michael Gifkins Prize in 2018, with her debut novel Attraction. Attraction was written during her Masters of Creative Writing at the University of Auckland under supervisor Paula Morris, and published in May by Melbourne-based Text Publishing. It is distributed throughout Australia and New Zealand.