The Fortress by S. A. Jones might be the best book released in 2018: find out why on next Friday Night-In

The Fortress by S. A. Jones might be the best book released in 2018: find out why on next Friday Night-In

The Fortress by S. A. Jones is a new novel that introduces us to a fictional world in which men can learn the conditions and consequences of their privilege. It tolls the bells of books such as Charlotte Wood’s The Natural Way of Things and Margaret Atwood’s seminal The Handmaid’s Tale.

At 8pm on Friday 13 April authors Kylie Ladd and Fiona Higgins will be joined by S. A. Jones, the Melbourne-based writer who has catapulted onto the Aussie stage with The Fortress. The novel begins when Jonathon Bridge arrives at the Fortress, a society run and populated by women. While inside it, he is forbidden to ask questions, to raise his hand in anger, or refuse sex.

But he’s not there by choice. Jonathon offers himself to the Fortress after his pregnant wife discovered the ugly sexual violence pervading his top-tier firm. She has agreed to continue their fractured relationship on the condition he enter the Fortress for one year.

Jonathon is unprepared for what will happen to him over the year, not only to his body, but his mind and heart.

This book is beautifully written, warm and intensely entertaining. The eponymous Fortress is a self-sustaining city-state run by women, a space to atone for toxic corporate masculinity, and the site of male sexual submission. But it’s also a meticulously wrought and depicted parallel universe. To step into the Fortress is to be altered forever.

About the author

S. A. Jones is a Melboune-based novelist, essayist and reviewer with a PhD in History. Jones’ previous novels are Red Dress Walking and Isabelle of the Moon and Stars. She has written dozens of opinion pieces and essays on politics, history, sexuality, public policy and theology for Kill Your Darlings, The Age, The Guardian, Overland, The Toast, Regime, The Drum and Page Seventeen.

Regular Couchers 

Fiona Higgins is the author of a memoir and three novels, the latest being Fearless (2016), published by Allen & Unwin.

Her debut novel, The Mothers’ Group (2012) was described by The Weekend Australian as ‘a top-shelf novel about contemporary Australian life’. Wife on the Run (2014) was reviewed in The Sydney Morning Herald as ‘a page-turning domestic melodrama for the social media age.’ Both novels were published in Europe. Her memoir, Love in the Age of Drought (2009), was published by Pan Macmillan in Australia.

Kylie Ladd has published five novels with Allen & Unwin: After the Fall (also published by Doubleday in the US), Last Summer, which was highly commended in the FAW Christina Stead Award for fiction, Into My Arms, chosen as one of Get Reading’s ‘50 books you can’t put down’ for 2013, Mothers and Daughters (also published by Sphere in the UK) and her latest, The Way Back. With Leigh Langtree she edited the anthology Naked: Confessions of Adultery and Infidelity. Kylie holds a PhD in neuropsychology and lives in Melbourne with her husband and two children.

 

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                      Publisher details

                      The Fortress
                      Author
                      S.A Jones
                      Publisher
                      Echo Publishing
                      Genres
                      Australian Fiction, Fiction
                      Released
                      01 April, 2018

                      Synopsis

                      The Fortress asks questions about consent, power, love and fulfilment, and is absorbing, explicit, confronting and moving.Jonathon Bridge has the corner office, the tailored suits and the impeccable pedigree. He has a fascinating wife, a child on the way and a string of nubile lovers on the side. He's a man who's going places. His world is our world: the same chaos and sprawl, haves and have-nots, men and women, skyscrapers and billboards. But it also exists alongside a vast, self-sustaining city-state called The Fortress where the indigenous inhabitants ? the Vaik ? continue to live much as they have always done. The Vaik is an all-female civilisation.The Fortress is cloistered from the outside world and connected to it by an arcane tradition that permits female victims of male violence to order their assailants into The Fortress indefinitely. Another way a man may enter The Fortress is as a supplicant. When Jonathon's pregnant wife Adalia discovers the ugly sexual violence pervading Jonathon's top-tier firm, she agrees to continue their fractured relationship on one condition: that Jonathon become a supplicant for a period of one year.Jonathon's arrival at The Fortress begins with a recitation of the conditions of his stay by Mandalay, the Vaik to whom he is assigned: he is forbidden to ask questions, to raise his hand in anger and to refuse sex. At times self-justifying, at other times lost, Jonathon is utterly unprepared for what will happen to him over the course of the year ? not only to his body, but his mind and his heart.The Fortress is a psychological examination of the dark heart of modern masculinity. It is interested in what male sexual submission looks like and how a female civilisation might operate. It wants to know if readers can be aroused by sex scenes that have nothing to do with female objectification ? and even if such arousal is possible. It asks questions about consent, power, love and fulfilment in a pacey, explicit and confronting read.
                      S.A Jones
                      About the author

                      S.A Jones

                      S.A. Jones is a Melbourne-based novelist, essayist and reviewer with a PhD in History. Jones' previous novels are Red Dress Walking and Isabelle of the Moon and Stars. She has authored dozens of opinion pieces and essays on politics, history, sexuality, public policy and theology for Kill Your Darlings, The Age, The Guardian, Overland, The Toast, Regime, The Drum and Page Seventeen.

                      Books by S.A Jones

                      Fiona Higgins
                      About the author

                      Fiona Higgins

                      Born in Melbourne and educated in Sydney, Fiona Higgins has worked in the philanthropic sector over the past 15 years. Her previous roles include Executive Director for The Caledonia Foundation, Philanthropy Services Manager for Cambooya Services, Programme Manager for The Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation and Communications Officer at Australian Red Cross (NSW). Currently she is Director of Grantmaking and Evaluation at Australian Philanthropic Services, and sits on the board of The Caledonia Foundation and The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Foundation.Fiona's memoir, Love in the Age of Drought, was published in 2009 by Macmillan and her first novel, The Mothers' Group, was published by Allen & Unwin in 2012, with foreign rights sold in France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain.She holds tertiary qualifications in the humanities and social sciences, and lives in Bali with her husband and three children.

                      Books by Fiona Higgins

                      Kylie Ladd
                      About the author

                      Kylie Ladd

                      Kylie Ladd is a novelist and freelance writer. Her essays and articles have appeared in the Age, Griffith Review and O magazine, among others, and she is a regular contributor to the popular MamaMia website. Kylie's first novel, After the Fall, was published in Australia, the US and Turkey. Her other novels are Last Summerwhich was highly commended in the FAW Christina Stead Award for fiction, Into My Arms, chosen as one of Get Reading’s ‘50 books you can’t put down’ for 2013, and her latest, Mothers and Daughters. She holds a PhD in neuropsychology and lives in Melbourne with her husband and two children.

                      Books by Kylie Ladd

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