Joey is young, indifferent. He’s drifting around Western Sydney unaware that his passivity is leading him astray. And then one day he is involved in a violent crime, one that threatens to upend his life entirely.
Elaine, his grandmother, is a proud Lebanese woman with problems of her own. When Joey is arrested, she is desperate to save face and hold herself together. In her family, history repeats itself, vices come and go, and uncovering long-buried secrets isn’t always cathartic.
This gripping and hard-hitting novel reveals the richness and complexity of contemporary Australian life and tests the idea that facing consequences will make us better people.
For a novel about violence, Losing Face is surprisingly tender. George Haddad is a writer with a talent for voice and place, vividly capturing the intensity of Western Sydney. Haddad uses layered intergenerational storytelling to demonstrate the complexity with which lives intertwine and unravel around a violent crime. He avoids delivering neat and easy answers but instead lingers in places that we usually want to look away from. But we don’t look away; Haddad has achieved a page-turning urgency that makes this a compelling reading experience.
About the author
Dr George Haddad is an award-winning writer, artist and academic practising on Gadigal land. His novella, Populate and Perish, was the winner of the 2016 Viva La Novella competition and his short story Kátharsis was awarded the 2018 Neilma Sidney Prize. George’s novel, Losing Face, was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award and shortlisted for The Readings Prize. In 2023 he was named a Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Novelist. He is a lecturer and researcher at the Writing and Society Research Centre, Western Sydney University. George’s text, sound, performance and installation based art has been exhibited at Firstdraft, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, ReadingRoom and Metro Arts.