In Defence of the Act
Effie Black

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Published: 2023

Longlisted for the 2024 Women's Prize for Fiction

In Defence of the Act tells the story of Jessica Miller, a suicide researcher who secretly believes suicide might actually be a good thing, until something happens that makes her question everything. Jessica holds opinions that might initially shock some readers, viewing the world via a detached, scientific lens. But through Jessica’s sometimes surprisingly funny narration, Effie Black is able to confront the difficult topic of suicide head-on, while weaving in themes of grief and trauma, forgiveness and resilience, and exploring what it means to be a queer member of a family. The book navigates the relationships between the protagonist and the women in her life, looking from the female perspective at what it means to be a friend, a lover and a carer.

A hilarious, poignant and uplifting essay on the benefits of suicide (or so you would believe).

Indira Varma


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