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As a family therapist, Nina is the ultimate listener. Yet this is of little use with her latest clients, the Agostinos, who have been mandated to see her after stealing a car and disappearing into the outback.

For support with the case, Nina meets with a supervising therapist, Erin. What they unearth in their sessions goes beyond the Agostino story into confronting personal territory for Nina. Meanwhile, despite her efforts, the Agostinos remain unwilling to speak—so how can Nina be sure that the two children are safe with their parents?

In the tradition of Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy, Resistance is an elegant, hypnotic novel of stories within stories. Examining the unfathomable mysteries within our families, it also questions how we retell our history, both personal and collective.


3CR: Published or Not    
3RRR: Literati Glitterati (0:13:45)   
ABC Radio Melbourne: The Friday Review (2:47:12)    
Barbara Hogarth interviews Jacinta Halloran about Resistance (MP3 audio file)   
Guardian: the best Australian books out in March    
InDaily: Diary of a Book Addict: Children lost – and found    
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Radio NZ: Nine to Noon     
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Jacinta Halloran
About the Author

Jacinta Halloran is the author of the novels Dissection, shortlisted for the 2007 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript; Pilgrimage, shortlisted for the 2014 Barbara Jefferis Award; and The Science of Appearances. Her new novel, Resistance, will be published in March 2023. She is a former board member of the Stella...

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Text publication date:
7 March 2023
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Praise for Jacinta Halloran

Resistance is thought-provoking on some big issues—mental health care, parenting, motherhood, ageing, gender equality and First Nations history—and will appeal to anyone interested in the human condition with all its fascinating foibles.’

‘Sublime and affecting, a novel that speaks intimately to both mind and heart.’

‘A daring and richly layered novel that examines the unreliability of conscience and memory, and our own invented truths. A compelling read from a masterful storyteller.’

‘A taut, delicate record of the ultimate act of listening. Halloran exposes both the knowingness and unwillingness of the human psyche.’

‘The format is suggestive of Russian Matryoshka dolls, with people and narratives nestled within each other…[Resistance] becomes a meditation on storytelling itself. Halloran questions who owns the stories we are told, and examines dominant paradigms regarding colonialism, racism, addiction and loss.’

‘A surprising, insightful and layered work of literature that explores family and secrets, and the ethics of mental health care.’

Resistance is a novel about secrets and shame, as well as the place of women among men in their families. Halloran…writes very elegantly.’

Resistance is a meditation on what influences the stories we identify with, willingly or not, and the impact family can have on the myriad roles we come to inhabit…Throughout this artfully rendered novel, Halloran interrogates the other stories we may struggle at times to contend with, or even understand. It’s a compelling insight into the human condition and on the indelible marks that can be impressed upon us by those closest.’

Resistance is a novel precise in its character sketches and prose…Resistance is to be recommended, for Halloran is always worth reading.’

‘[Resistance] goes beyond its simple plot ingredients, to offer a broader view of what it means to be Australian – and the importance of recognising a nation’s history as your own…Throughout these stories and reckonings, the novel interrogates the usefulness of psychology in the face of past trauma.…Resistance is a poignant, thoughtful novel with layered meanings…Story is a vehicle for deeper reckoning here as the characters face their own – and others’ – resistance.’

‘Fascinating…Curiosity is a central tenet to the book, Resistance is very sharply observed…[with an] assured sense of pacing.’

‘Rich picture that demonstrate the complexity of human life…exploring our human and family relationships and great observations of daily life…Through lightness of touch [Resistance] avoids being subsumed by its weighty subject matter.’

‘This excellent read will gently propel you into reflectiveness. It will make you question what you do and don’t have a right to know.’

Other editions ofResistance
  • Resistance
    ISBN: 9781922791344
    7 March 2023
    Buy ebook
Other Titles byJacinta Halloran