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MAX d’Avi Duckor-Jones

It was a loneliness I often felt. To be physically present and part of something, but elsewhere in my mind, silently seeking other lives I should be living instead.

by Avi Duckor-Jones
Affirm Press (Australia), June 2024
(via Kaplan/DeFiore)

Max is about to finish high school. On paper he has everything – the girlfriend, the grades, the class- clown best friend, the loving family – but under the surface he is floundering. Grappling with questions about his birth parents and his sexuality, he feels that there is a seed of badness deep within him that will inevitably be exposed. After an incident at the end-of-year party sets Max’s world to crumbling, he must finally figure out who he is and where he came from – and who he is allowed to love. Max is a beautiful coming-of-age novel from an exciting new voice in New Zealand fiction.

Although trained as a lawyer, Avi Duckor-Jones gained his MA in creative writing from Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters in 2013. His travel writing has been published with BBC Travel, The NZ Listener and Lonely Planet among others. Avi has worked as a writing instructor and trip leader for National Geographic, directed a school in Ghana, and is the winner of the reality television competition, Survivor New Zealand. His first novel « Swim » won the 2018 Viva la Novella award. He currently lives on Waiheke Island with his wife and son, where he enjoys open water distance swimming and works as an English Teacher at Waiheke High School.