By Madeleine Gray
A witty, profound and painfully relatable debut novel exploring solitude, desire, and the allure of chasing something that promises nothing.
Hera Stephen is clawing through her mid-twenties, working as an underpaid comment moderator in an overly air-conditioned newsroom by day and kicking around Sydney with her two best friends by night. Instead of money or stability, she has so far accrued one ex-girlfriend, several hundred hangovers and a dog-eared novel collection.
While everyone around her seems to have slipped effortlessly into adulthood, Hera has spent the years since school caught between feeling that she is purposefully rejecting traditional markers of success to forge a life of her own and wondering if she’s actually just being left behind. Then she meets Arthur, an older, married colleague. Intoxicated by the promise of ordinary happiness he represents, Hera falls headlong into a workplace romance that everyone, including her, knows is doomed to fail.
With her daringly specific and intimate voice, Madeleine Gray has created an irresistible and messy love story about the terrible allure of wanting something that promises nothing; about the joys and indignities of coming into adulthood against the pitfalls of the twenty-first century; and about the winding, torturous and often very funny journey we take in deciding who we are and who we want to be.
‘Brilliant. Riveting. Sharp. Funny. Dark. I want to give Green Dot all the adjectives but will content myself with saying it is one of the best books you will read all year’ Elizabeth Day, host of the How to Fail podcast
‘I felt so much joy reading this utterly assured writing. Green Dot is written with such poise, such confidence, I could not look away. I was mesmerised by its sheer brilliance.’ –Jessie Tu, author of A Lonely Girl is a Dangerous Thing
‘I am obsessed with this book. I am obsessed with Hera, with her dad, her friends, her dog. I am obsessed with how funny she is, and how hopeful and dark and tender and bleak the world is through her eyes. Green Dot is a book about love, and how stupid and funny and absolutely beautiful life can be. I would read it forever if I could.’ –Laura McPhee-Browne, author of Cherry Beach
‘Laugh-out-loud funny and beautifully, brutally relatable – Green Dot is a book that will stay with me for a very long time.’ –Ewa Ramsey, author of The Morbids
‘Incredibly funny and a bit too real. This debut novel captures the zeitgeist.’ –Brigid Delaney, author of Reasons Not to Worry and Wellmania
About the author:
Madeleine Gray is a writer and critic from Sydney. She has written arts criticism for SRB, Overland, Meanjin, The Lifted Brow, The Saturday Paper, The Monthly, etc. In 2019 she was a CA-SRB Emerging Critic, and in 2021 she was a finalist for the Walkley Pascall Prize for Arts Criticism, a finalist for the Woollahra Digital Literary Non-fiction award, and a recipient of a Neilma Sidney Literary Travel grant. She has an MSt in English from the University of Oxford and is a current doctoral candidate at the University of Manchester, researching contemporary women’s autobiographical literary theory. Green Dot is her first novel.
Publisher: Allen & Unwin