Rebecca K Reilly

Greta and Valdin


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MAY 2021

Winner of the Hubert Church Prize for Fiction for Best First Book at the 2022 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards

‘The modern world is too much for me. I feel like I’m George of the Jungle.’ —Greta

'At the moment, for personal reasons, I don't like reading things about people being in love with each other.' —Valdin

Valdin is still in love with his ex-boyfriend Xabi, who used to drive around Auckland in a ute but now drives around Buenos Aires in one. Greta is in love with her fellow English tutor Holly, who doesn’t know how to pronounce Greta’s surname, Vladisavljevic, properly.

From their Auckland apartment, brother and sister must navigate the intricate paths of modern romance as well as weather the small storms of their eccentric Māori–Russian–Catalonian family. This beguiling and hilarious novel by Adam Foundation Prize winner Rebecca K Reilly owes as much to Shakespeare as it does to Tinder. Set in a world that is deeply familiar (but also a bit sexier and more stylish than the real one), Greta and Valdin will speak to anyone who has had their heart broken, or has decided that they don’t want to be a physicist anymore, or has wondered about all of the things they don’t know about their family.

'Greta and Valdin is a complete world. I was totally captivated. It is warm and funny, inventive and charming, with a genuine and earned tenderness at its heart.' —Kate Duignan, author of The New Ships and Breakwater

'Delightful, funny, wonderful . . . I laughed my way through this book. An incredible novel from a young new writer. I heartily recommend it to everybody.' —Claire Mabey, Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan

'Greta & Valdin is fresh, funny, tangled and brilliant. I can’t wait for someone to make the sitcom so I can keep Reilly’s characters in my life.' —Hannah Tunnicliffe, Kete Books

'Reilly makes modern romance exciting and compelling in a way that reminded me of Sally Rooney. . . . Greta and Valdin is an amusing and vivacious romantic drama led by two hilarious and engaging queer main characters, and I don't think you could ask for much more from a novel in 2021.'—Josie Shapiro, ReadClose

Cover design: Sarah Wilkins

Paperback, 210x138mm, 352 pages

Rebecca K Reilly (Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Wai) is a writer from Tāmaki Makaurau. She won the 2019 Adam Foundation Prize. Greta and Valdin, forthcoming with VUP in May 2021, is her first book.