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  • Writer's pictureBelle Kenyon

Caught Between Two Worlds: An Aid Worker’s Inner Turmoil in Laura Fish’s ‘Lying Perfectly Still'

Fly on the Wall Press is excited to announce the acquisition of Laura Fish’s third novel, Lying Perfectly Still, set to be released on Monday 18th November 2024. Worldwide exclusive rights to this book were obtained by director Isabelle Kenyon, direct from the author. Lying Perfectly Still is a gripping work of literary fiction which explores the misconduct and exploitation by aid workers in the depths of Mbabane, Eswatini (formerly the Kingdom of Swaziland) during the 90s AIDS crisis.


We travel with Koliwe from her home in Oxford to her ancestral roots in Mbabane as she embarks on a role as a development worker. A far cry from its depiction in her late father’s paintings and stories, the Swaziland she enters is one gripped by the AIDS crisis where the lines between protection and exploitation have become blurred. Koliwe feels divided between her English and African identities as the clash between the two cultures is increasingly difficult for her to balance. Within weeks of arriving, she forms connections with both Thandi, a local girl with a disturbing past who mysteriously goes missing, and her manager Cameron, whose behaviour increasingly begins to arouse suspicion, becoming predatory and dangerous. Taken on a journey into the heart of Swaziland as she searches for the truth about Thandi’s disappearance, Koliwe is forced to face the complexities of her own past and ancestry.


Evocative and harrowing, Lying Perfectly Still provides an insider’s perspective on the horrors of the misconduct and exploitation operating within the international aid community. Fish’s compelling narrative voice shines a spotlight on the shocking disparities in poverty and wealth between rural people and the workers who are there to protect them. Readers will be shocked and repulsed by the events in this text which gives voice to those who are usually silenced.


Awarded the S I Leeds Reader’s Choice Award and placing third in the S I Leeds Literary Prize for Lying Perfectly Still, Laura Fish is a highly accomplished writer. Her second novel, Strange Music, was Orange Prize listed in 2009 and nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in the same year.


For further information, media inquiries, or to request an advanced reader’s copy, please contact Isabelle Kenyon at isabellkenyon@flyonthewallpress.co.uk



Laura Fish is an award-winning writer of Caribbean heritage. She is a graduate of the MA in Creative Writing programme at UEA (2002) and was awarded a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing from UEA (2007). Since 2014, Laura has been employed at Northumbria University, U.K University of the Year, Times Higher Education (THE) Awards 2022, having previously held positions as a Creative Writing tutor at St Andrews University, UK; University of Western Cape, South Africa; UEA, UK; Newcastle University, UK, where she was the RCUK Academic Fellow in Creative Writing 2007–2013. Laura has over 10 years’ experience with BBC in broadcast television and radio, in news, current affairs and features. She has been invited to read from and talk about her work internationally.


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