Susanna Gendall

The Disinvent Movement

ISBN: 9781776564101

February 2021


‘Every week we would disinvent something. This week it would be plastic. Next week it would be the aeroplane. I stood outside the supermarket and handed out flyers, which people kindly refused as they left carrying large packs of bottled water.’

The short history of the Disinvent Movement is told by its creator as she looks back on her life in New Zealand, France, Switzerland and other countries. Intertwined with the movement are her efforts to find a way ‘inside’ – an entry point to the system in which so many others seem to be living happily. But once you’re in, what if you want to escape? How do you disinvent the all-encompassing structure of a violent marriage?

The Disinvent Movement is a brilliantly original and poignant first novel, both elliptical and direct, about how we dismantle and remake our stories – and re-cast the people who occupy the most important roles in our lives – in hopes of finding sanctuary.

'Funny, sad, brilliantly observational' —Renee Liang, Kete Books

'a highly original and moving exploration of the division we all experience between who we are to ourselves and who we appear to be to others' —Rachel O'Connor, Landfall Review Online

‘Like Olivia Laing or Renata Adler, Susanna Gendall strips back the everyday to get at life’s extraordinary oddness; this novel conjures a strange magic, pierced with little darts of hope.’ —Emily Perkins

'Gendall knows how to make magic. The Disinvent Movement is captivating from the first page and doesn’t let up.' —Josie Shapiro, Read Close

Susanna Gendall’s poetry and short fiction have appeared in JAAM, TakahÄ“, Sport, Geometry, Landfall, Ambit and The Spinoff. The Disinvent Movement is her first book. She lives in Wellington and Paris.

Cover design: Sarah Wilkins

Paperback, 210x138mm, 144 pages