Book Information

  • ISBN: 9781509895335
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pub Date: 14/08/2018
  • Category: Fiction & related items / Sagas
    Health & personal development / Family & relationships
  • Imprint: Picador
  • Pages: 256
  • Price: $29.99

In 1960s rural America two siblings grow up in a place of love and turmoil. Rene is the apple of her father's eye: an over-achiever, athletic, clever, the best brain in class, and the best dancer in school. Her older brother Leon, doted on by his mother, is shy, a stutterer, but also a brilliant dancer.

Rene and Leon share a talent, but it is a gift their father adores in his daughter, and loathes in his son. These two children may be best friends, but life promises to take them down very different paths...

The Distance Home is the story of two children growing up side by side - the one given opportunities the other just misses - and the fall-out in their adult lives. Funny and tragic, both intimate and universal, Paula Saunders' debut is about how our parents shape the adults we become. It is a hugely moving story of devotion and neglect, impossible to put down - these are characters you will forever press to your heart.


"The Distance Home is a deeply involving portrait of the American postwar family: its promises and disruptions-surrounded by a rich, shimmering, sensuous South Dakota landscape." Jennifer Egan

"[Paula] Saunders skillfully illuminates how time heals certain wounds while deepening others, and her depiction of aging is viscerally affecting. . . . The Distance Home becomes a mediation of the violence of American ambition-and a powerful call for self-examination." The New York Times Book Review

"Saunders' debut is an exquisite, searing portrait of family and of people coping with whatever life throws at them while trying to keep close to one another. . . . The Distance Home will leave readers eager for more from this extraordinarily talented author." Booklist (starred review)

"Penetrating and insightful . . . This debut wonderfully depicts the entire lifespan of a singular family." Publishers Weekly

Author Information

Paula Saunders grew up in South Dakota. She is a graduate of the Syracuse University creative writing program, and was awarded a postgraduate Albert Schweitzer Fellowship in the Humanities at the State University of New York at Albany, under then-Schweitzer Chair, Toni Morrison. She lives in California with her husband. They have two grown daughters.


2 May 2019

Join Paula Saunders at SWF as she discusses her novel THE DISTANCE HOME.

11:30 AM

Carriageworks, The Studio
245 Wilson Street Eveleigh NSW 2015 Website

4 May 2019

Join Paula Saunders at SWF event The Price of Ambition as she discusses depicting the cost of fulfilling or deferring ambition, approaching ideas about failure and success, and creating family narratives about characters attempting to outrun their pasts, as well as her latest book THE DISTANCE HOME.

4:30 PM

Carriageworks, Track 8
245 Wilson Street Eveleigh NSW 2015 Website