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The Man In the Shed

From the author of the multi-award-winning Mister Pip

A boy watches his mother hooked and reeled ashore by a fisherman.
A couple give up their seats on a bus for lovers soon to be parted.
A husband enters a world imagined by his wife and pretends to be the man she loves.

Lloyd Jones’s The Man in the Shed is a haunting collection of stories about family and longing. These extraordinary tales take conventional family life and tilt it sideways, delivering a memorable blend of the suburban and the surreal.


The Man in the Shed
The Thing that Distresses Me the Most
Lost Cities
The Simpsons in Russia
Where the Harleys Live
Still Lives
The Waiting Room
Broken Machinery
What We Normally Do On a Sunday
Going to War for Mrs Austen
Swimming to Australia
Who’s That Dancing With My Mother?
Amateur Nights

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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256 pp
Text publication date:
31 August 2009
AU Price:
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Praise for Lloyd Jones
andThe Man In the Shed

‘Jones writes with economy and lyricism and possesses a striking command of metaphor.’

‘Lloyd Jones brings to life the transformative power of fiction.’

‘Lloyd Jones is one of the best writers in New Zealand today. With the beautiful spare, lyrical quality that characterises his writing, Jones makes us think about the power and the magic of storytelling, the possibilities—and the dangers—of escaping to the world within.’

‘Much of the important stuff in these stories happens off point. A little way from the action storms gather, charged with meaning…..every major character carries with them a compelling uncertainty about where truth and power lie…The agony of not knowing is often unbearable, and no humiliation, it seems, is too great in the quest for reassurance. Jones’ work is easy to like and to admire because he rarely cuts people down to size in sizing them up. He doesn’t warm towards his characters, exactly—his gaze is too unblinking for that—but there is a generosity of spirit, which holds incisiveness in check. These lives are attractive because their author offers no incitement to look down on them.’

‘The stories are suffused with imagery of the sea, the coast and the populace’s dreams of other countries…Jones does such an assured and skilful job of mixing the surreal with the mundane.’

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