The 13th of February was an evening of circularity for NZ literary heavyweight Lloyd Jones, who had his first launch at Unity Books almost 30 years ago, and returned to launch his latest novel, ‘The Cage’ on a cold Tuesday evening. There was a large crowd of attendees and a marathon book signing queue later in the evening.
Tilly Lloyd delivered the launch speech, and Jones’s publisher Debra Millar also spoke about the book, both choosing their words carefully so as not to give away too much about the plot, but both emphasized the books darkness and also, it’s prescience. Jones’s latest book is about a small town, two refugees, a cage and illustrates the concept of Hannah Arendt’s banality of evil with both unexpected tenderness and a creeping terror. Jones says that he was inspired to write the book after seeing the treatment of Syrian refugees on the streets of Budapest in 2015. After Jones read an excerpt, there was a live performance of the Handsome Family by several of Jones’s friends, who he had invited to play after seeing them perform this particular song at a bar. The performers said The Handsome Family (a gothic, alternative-country husband and wife duo known for their creepy lyrics and haunting melodies) were a perfect companion piece to Lloyd’s latest offering.
The Cage by Lloyd Jones, published by Penguin Random House is available in store and at Unity Books Online now.