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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.
‘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.’