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The Fish

The Fish

Lloyd Jones

  • awardLonglisted, Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction, Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, New Zealand, 2023
  • Then she lifts the Fish up from the bassinet and holds him out to me.
                ‘Go on, take him.’ And to the Fish she says, ‘This is
                your uncle.’
                I manage to clap my hands either side of the fish bundle. But I feel like I am holding an expensive glass. Once you’re told not to drop it, all you can think of is the glass shattering across the floor.

    When the baby is born—in a shabby caravan at a beach campground—it’s clear he is not like other babies. But the family will try hard to protect and love and accept him. Perhaps all the more to make up for letting his troubled mother down.

    The young uncle grapples with his connection to the Fish. And as he tries to understand his family and its confusing secrets and shame, his sense of his own place in the world begins to crumble.

    Lloyd Jones’s unique lyrical style is mesmerising in this tender story of family bonds, both strained and strengthened by tragedy, and the redemptive power of writing.


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    Lloyd Jones
    About the Author

    Lloyd Jones was born in New Zealand. His best-known works include Mister Pip, winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, The Book of Fame, winner of numerous literary awards, Hand Me Down World, A History of Silence and The Cage.

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    Text publication date:
    1 March 2022
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    Praise for Lloyd Jones
    andThe Fish

    ‘As compelling as a fairytale—beautiful, shocking and profound.’

    ‘The puzzle of where the human essence lies and is shared is implicit in Jones’ dark parable.’

    ‘Storytelling, imagination, courage, beauty, memories and sudden violence are the main elements of this extraordinary book.’

    ‘New Zealand writer Lloyd Jones is a master storyteller …’

    ‘A story of family, its tragedies and triumphs.’

    ‘Lloyd Jones’s dreamlike and lyrical novel tells a tender story of family bonds, both strained and strengthened by tragedy, and re-states the redemptive power of writing and storytelling.’

    The Fish is sheer pleasure, with its absurdist premise, sentimental narrative and picaresque structure…This is not, however, only a funny book. It is wry and wistful and contains a romantic episode tinged with tragedy that is as moving as it is surprising. The Fish is a novel with a lot of notes in its repertoire, and unexpected swerves between poignancy and hilarity.’

    ‘A strange but ultimately beautiful story, marked by tragedy and human warmth.’

    ‘Beautiful, lyrical and poetical.’

    ‘One expects beautiful prose from Jones, and he does not disappoint.’

    ‘[Shows] the tender determination of [a] family to love and care for a creature they do not recognise.’

    Other editions ofThe Fish
    • The Fish
      ISBN: 9781922459725
      1 March 2022
      Buy ebook