A man wakes up one morning to find an unknown woman in bed beside him. A failed writer devises an ingenious method of plagiarizing the work of others. Whole properties in a suburban neighbourhood begin vanishing overnight. An ancient grand piano is purchased by a mysterious young customer with an old secret. A spontaneous experiment in the paranormal produces an unexpected result …
This collection of fourteen short stories is Alex Skovron’s second book of fiction, after his novella The Poet (2005). It introduces an eclectic range of protagonists, predicaments, voices, and narrative styles – playful, earnest, speculative, ironic, intimate, bittersweet, surreal. Between them, the characters we meet span childhood and adolescence, adulthood and old age, and their stories highlight the untoward in the everyday, the transformative in the mundane, the twists and turning-points that can challenge us – and the games we play with others, and with ourselves.
‘Intricate, dreamy, deeply literate stories that unsettle the senses and stir the intellect.’
— Helen Garner
‘By turns beautifully detailed, puzzling and always intriguing, the hauntingly solitary tone of these exquisitely observed stories induces a rare meditative attentiveness in the reader. It is a powerfully affecting collection that left me eager to explore more of Skovron’s world.’
— Alex Miller