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THE HEALING PARTY

Micheline Lee

  • Original Title: THE HEALING PARTY
  • Publication date: May 2016
  • Publisher: BLACK INC.
  • Country: MY
  • 304 print pages
  • Dramedy

Information

  • Epoch: Contemporary
  • Time Period: 21st century
  • Location setting: Australia
  • Themes: FAMILY, Dysfunctional family, Intergenerational, Filiation, PEOPLE facing life, Life choice, Search for the truth, Disease, Double identity, Facing failure, PEOPLE facing the extraordinary, Psychological dysfunction, SOCIETY DYSFUNCTIONS, Fanaticism, SOCIAL CHRONICLES, Social relations, Multiculturalism, Integration, Commitment, Tolerance, Intolerance

Pitch

The Chans, originally from Hong Kong, have migrated to Melbourne and become evangelical Christians. Natasha’s mother Irene is dying from cancer. Natasha’s father, Paul, a magnetic leader in their charismatic community, believes he has received a message from God promising that Irene will be healed. He plans to hold a ‘healing party’ so that their community can witness the miracle.

Comments

Shortlisted, Dobbie Literary Award, 2018
Shortlisted, Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards 2017
Longlisted, 2017 Voss Literary Prize

"With this debut novel, Micheline Lee breathes new life into the dysfunctional family narrative. Emotionally honest, often funny and remarkably original, Lee’s novel paints a compelling portrait of a family grappling with their faith in the face of grief and conflict." The Wheeler Centre

Debut novel

Born in Malaysia, Micheline Lee migrated to Australia when she was eight. Her essay, THE ART OF DEPENDENCY which speaks of her experience living with a disability, was selected for The Best Australian Essays 2017. She lives in Melbourne and recently commenced a PhD at Melbourne University.

Summary

Estranged from her family, Natasha is making a life for herself in Darwin when her sister calls with bad news. Their mother is ill, and has only a few months to live. Confused and conflicted, Natasha returns to the home she fled many years before. But her father, an evangelical Christian, has not changed –he is still the domineering yet magnetic man she ran from, and her sisters and mother are still in his thrall.

One night her father makes an astonishing announcement: he has received a message from God that his wife is to be healed, and they must hold a party to celebrate. As Natasha and her sisters prepare for the big event – and the miracle – she struggles to reconcile her family’s faith with her sense that they are pretending. Is she a traitor or the only one who can see the truth? And what use is truth anyway, in the face of death?

Taut, funny and poignant, THE HEALING PARTY is an electrifying debut novel about faith and lies, the spirit and the flesh.

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  • Author’s biography

    Born in Malaysia, Micheline Lee migrated to Australia when she was eight. She has worked as a human rights lawyer and before taking up writing, as a painter. Her novel, THE HEALING PARTY, was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier's Literary Award; longlisted for the Voss prize; and shortlisted for the Dobbie Literary Award. Her essay, THE ART OF DEPENDENCY which speaks of her experience living with a disability, was selected for The Best Australian Essays 2017. She lives in Melbourne and recently commenced a PhD at Melbourne University.