The Performance

Author(s): Claire Thomas

Aust Fiction | 2021 Bestsellers

The breakout literary sensation of 2021, THE PERFORMANCE is a tightly woven examination of women's inner lives that is enthralling, profound and deeply human.


The false cold of the theatre makes it hard to imagine the heavy wind outside in the real world, the ash air pressing onto the city from the nearby hills where bushfires are taking hold.
The house lights lower.
The auditorium feels hopeful in the darkness.

As bushfires rage outside the city, three women watch a performance of a Beckett play.

Margot is a successful professor, preoccupied by her fraught relationship with her ailing husband. Ivy is a philanthropist with a troubled past, distracted by the snoring man beside her. Summer is a young theatre usher, anxious about the safety of her girlfriend in the fire zone.

As the performance unfolds, so does each woman's story. By the time the curtain falls, they will all have a new understanding of the world beyond the stage.



'A potent meditation on the intensity of women's lives' Charlotte Wood, author of The Weekend


'Read it as soon as you possibly can' Emily Bitto, author of The Strays


'I read from start to finish almost without looking up' Clare Bowditch, author of Your Own Kind of Girl

Matilda Bookshop Review


The Performance is one of the best books I've read this year. Told from the perspective of three women of very different ages, while they all watch a play by Samuel Beckett, this is a highly original and thought-provoking novel that explores many of the intense forces that impact on women's lives.  Thomas' writing is beautiful throughout, she doesn't waste a word. I loved this book and would highly recommend it. Jo

$32.99(AUD)

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Product Information

General Fields

  • : 9780733644542
  • : Hachette Australia
  • : Hachette Australia
  • : 0.3
  • : August 2020
  • : 2.5 Centimeters X 15.4 Centimeters X 23.4 Centimeters
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 304
  • : 823.92
  • : en
  • : 2103
  • : Paperback
  • : Claire Thomas