One day we were in a dream world, where Julia was dead and the space where she once was became large and silent, and then we were in another country altogether — where stories and voices made their way into our house any way they could. They heaved under the floorboards, whispered in the windows. Creaked in the attic like a python grown too big on rats. And I collected them all to fill that silence Julia left.
After the accidental death of Ruth's five-year-old sister, their father decides that atonement and healing are in order, and that taking on aid work in a mountain village in Irian Jaya is the way to find it. It is the late 1990s, a time of civil unrest and suppression in the Indonesian province now known as West Papua.
The family drops into what seems the middle of nowhere, where they experience a vibrant landscape, an ever-changing and disorientating world, and — for Ruth — new voices. While her parents find it a struggle to save themselves, let alone anyone else, Ruth seeks redemption in bearing witness to and passing on the stories of those who have been silenced — even as she is haunted by questions about what it means to witness and who gets to survive.
Published by Vintage NZ (PRHNZ), Feb. 2017.
Awards & Recognition:
Reviews & More forThe Earth Cries Out:
"Wanita Selandia Baru Serukan Pembebasan Papua Lewat Novel." Wim Geissler, Qureta, 2 May 2018.
Reviewed by Patricia Prime. takahē, April 2018.
Reviewed by Lisa Hill. ANZ LitLovers LitBlog, 4 Jan. 2018.
"Announcing the longlist for the 2018 Ockham New Zealand book awards." The Spinoff, 28 Nov 2017.
Reviewed by Louise O'Brien. New Zealand Books Pukapuka Aotearoa, 10 Sept. 2017.
Reviewed by Alyson Baker. 30 July 2017.
"Powerful, unadulterated insight into West Papua." Review by Kendall Hutt, Pacific Journalism Review, 21 July 2017.
"Evocative Work Imbued With a Sense of Place." Reviewed by Jessie Neilson, Otago Daily Times, 1 May 2017.
Reviewed by Paula Morris. Listener, 27 April 2017.
Reviewed by Jane Arthur. The Reader, 20 April 2017.
"Rare Glimpse of West Papua in New Novel." Jennifer Little, Massey News, 29 March 2017.
"Politics Anchors Human Story." Reviewed by Siobhan Harvey. Sunday Star Times, 12 March 2017.