Damien Wilkins


210mm x 138mm
Publication date:
10 October 2024

Available for pre-order only. Available from 10 October

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It’s time. Mary, an ex cop, and her husband, retired librarian Pete, have decided to move into a retirement village. They aren’t falling apart, but they’re watching each other – Pete with his tachcychardia and bad hip, Mary with her ankle and knee.

Selling their beloved house should be a clean break, but it’s as if the people they have lost keep returning to ask new things of them. A local detective calls with new information about the case of their son, Will, who was killed in an accident forty years before. Mary finds herself drawn to consider her older sister’s shortened life. Pete is increasingly haunted by memories of his late mother, who developed delirium and never recovered.

An emotionally powerful novel about families and ageing, Delirious dramatises the questions we will all face, if we’re lucky, or unlucky, enough. How to care for others? How to meet the new versions of ourselves who might arrive? How to cope? Delirious is also about the surprising ways second chances come around.

'A New Zealand novel of grace and humanity. How does Wilkins do it? These are flawed and immensely satisfying characters – you close your eyes at the faulty, circuitous routes they take. Delirious is a marvel of a book.’ —Witi Ihimaera

Damien Wilkins is the author of fourteen books, most recently Aspiring, winner of the Young Adult Fiction Award in 2020. His first novel, The Miserables, won the New Zealand Book Award for fiction in 1994, and he has been long-listed three times for the Dublin Literary Award. He received a Whiting Writers’ Award from the Whiting Foundation, New York, in 1992, and an Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi Laureate Award in 2013. He is a professor at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington and Director of the International Institute of Modern Letters Te Pūtahi Tui Auaha o Te Ao. As a musician and songwriter, he writes and records as the Close Readers.

Cover design: Sarah Wilkins

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