Project Description


BUY the book
27 January 2021
RRP: $29.99
ISBN: 9781922400635
Paperback,  288 pages
234 x 153 mm

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The Price of Two Sparrows

by Christy Collins

Heico is an ornithologist fighting a losing battle to protect the birds in his beachside suburb. When a journalist asks for comment on a planned development, Heico exaggerates his reports on how many migratory birds use the site. Soon it is revealed that the proposed building is a mosque, and he finds himself embroiled in community resistance to the project. Still, he refuses to back down.

Nahla, Heico’s house cleaner, is trying to find her place in a new country and a new marriage. Isolated and lonely, she sees the mosque as a symbol of what she hopes to find in Australia: community, familiarity, acceptance. But as resistance to the project intensifies, she must summon the courage and the language to claim her space in this new life.

Piercingly clear-eyed and deeply insightful, The Price of Two Sparrows explores what we hold sacred and why. It delicately picks apart questions of community and prejudice, religion and nature in the modern world. This is a beautiful and thought-provoking debut from an award-winning Australian writer.

PRAISE for The Price of Two Sparrows

‘A powerfully imagined world that draws us in irresistibly. I applaud Christy Collins for this tremendous achievement.’ Michelle de Kretser

‘A deeply empathetic novel. Collins has created something special here.’ Toni Jordan

‘A beautiful and timely literary flight.’ Katherine Johnson

‘Unique and intelligent … I had to spend days thinking about this book before I could even attempt to start writing about it and I have a feeling that’s exactly what Collins wants us to do.’ Readings Monthly

‘Elegantly structured … Reminiscent of The Slap in its thematic echoing, this novel would be well suited to a thoughtful book club or an Australian literature syllabus.’ Books+Publishing

‘Characters and readers alike are forced to acknowledge that very little in life is black and white, interrogate the basis of their views and reflect upon their underlying motivations. 4 stars.’ Booklover Book Reviews

‘Powerful, empathetic characterisation … thoughtful book groups will enjoy discussing this outstanding novel.’ ANZ Lit Lovers

About the Author

Christy Collins has worked in the Netherlands and Australia in roles in research, higher education and academic publishing. Her novella The End of Seeing won the Viva La Novella Prize 2015 and is published by Seizure. She has recently completed a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Tasmania and was a 2017 Asialink resident in Sapporo, Japan.