Paradise Earth - Amy Barker - Stormbird Press - Book Cover

Paradise Earth


The aftershocks from 1996 continued, year after year, often in the life of the individual more devastating than the Port Arthur massacre itself. Yet always the subsequent tragedies could be traced back to that unspeakable Sunday.’

Approaching the 25th anniversary of the 1996 Port Arthur massacre, a trio battles demons on Tasman Peninsula. When John Kettle helps his fourteen-year-old son apply for a firearm’s permit, his prodigal sister Ruth looks to the landscape to explain the traumatic past, and illuminate their present. A Port Arthur survivor, Marina Aquilina has returned with her brother to pack up the holiday home Doo-No-Harm, following their mother’s death. In a convoy of duck rescuers, the siblings head for a confrontation with shooters on the wetland. In this existential novel, lives are choreographed by violence versus compassion, before the inevitable reckoning.


Amy Barker is honoured as a finalist in the literary fiction category of the 2020 International Book Awards for Paradise Earth

Paradise Earth’s Amy Barker and Stormbird Press rise from the ashes of Kangaroo Island’s deadliest wildfires to win Gold in the Australia/NZ/Pacific Rim Best Regional fiction category in the 2020 Independent Publisher Awards.


Title: Paradise Earth
Author: Barker, A.
Published: 2020
ISBNs: 9781925856224 (pbk), 9781925856231(ebk)
Page count: 330


‘Paradise Earth is a provocative literary novel that highlights the complex relationship between violence and compassion.’ —Mari Carlson, Foreword Clarion Review

‘A task fraught with dangers: to be an honest and unflinching guide to this most terrible of Australia’s hauntings. Amy Barker reminds me of the young Dostoevsky, how in his novel of a Siberian prison camp he could descend the ladder of humanity step by step because even in the most degraded there must still be the divine spark. Not a safe place for writer or reader—but a novel of blazing and humbling integrity.’ —Peter Bishop, writers’ advocate and formerly Creative Director of Varuna, the Writers’ House.

‘In a masterful follow-up to her award-winning debut novel Omega Park, Amy Barker has created a simple and beautiful tapestry of lives lived in the shadow of the unthinkable violence of the Port Arthur Massacre. Set against the backdrop of the Tasman Peninsula’s raw and rugged natural beauty, and its tragic legacy, Paradise Earth recounts a series of separate but interconnecting stories that explore the vicissitudes and fragility of the human condition. The result is both lyrical and provocative.’—Chris Nyst, Cop This, Gone, Gettin’ Square, and Crook as Rookwood.


Amy Barker

Award winning Melbourne-based literary fiction author