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A Lovely and Terrible Thing

$14.99

$14.99

Around you the world is swirling - you pass through a submerged town; the bakery, a wheelbarrow, a bike floating on its side on the main street, its steeples and trees barely visible through the thick water.

In the distance the wreck of the gunship HMS Elizabeth lolls on a sandbank a couple of miles from the shore. Oil slicks the canals of the capital and even now in the midst of the bombing, the old men still tell tales of mermaids in the shallows.

A pool, empty of water save for a brackish puddle at one end that has escaped the summer heat. A mess of fine bones and hanks of fur - the remains of mice or possums that have tumbled in, lured perhaps by the water. Two boys stand by its edge, watching a stolen bracelet flash through the humid air into the deep end.

In bestselling author Chris Womersley's first short fiction collection, twenty macabre and deliciously enjoyable tales linked by the trickle of water that runs through them all will keep readers spellbound until their final, unexpected and unsettling twist...

PRAISE FOR CHRIS WOMERSLEY

'By interweaving the trivial, the humorous and the grisliest of the grisly, Chris Womersley straps us in for a shivery ride.' New York Times

'Unrepentantly daring.' The Age

'Poetic and original.' The Monthly

'Brilliantly compelling.' Australian Women's Weekly

'A master storyteller.' Australian Book Review

PRAISE FOR A LOVELY AND TERRIBLE THING

'Womersley has the chops to write prose that looks realist, then seamlessly turns vertiginously weird. His deployment of the macabre has sufficient restraint, his imagination sufficient turn, that these stories maintain the power to shock' The Australian

'There is a formal elegance to his writing, even when the language is vernacular and the settings are domestic. This creates gloomily atmospheric stories with creepy momentum that bring to mind shades of Shirley Jackson and Edgar Allan Poe, but these are not horror stories per se.' The Age

'These stories, published between 2006 and 2017, stand the test of time and assert Womersley as a powerful writer of the short form.... This collection is playful, and skips between the known and unknown, the palatable and uncomfortable. Like water, these stories are unpredictable, often turbulent, and contain great depth.' Readings Books

'The stories are weird and wonderful, heartbreaking and inspiring ... It's one with the lot.' Herald Sun

'A Lovely and Terrible Thing is a collection of taut, dark-edged, and very successful stories. Chris Womersley's novels have a well-deserved following, and this transition to short fiction will add to his readership and acclaim.' Australian Book Review

'There is a poetic lilt to Womersley's prose. And he certainly knows how to end a story. In this collection the excellent endings are masterful: some leave you contemplating what might happen even after the story ends; others effect a satisfactory full stop to the narrative.' Artshub

Book Information

  • ISBN: 9781760786205
  • Format: eBook
  • Pub Date: 23/04/2019
  • Category: Fiction & related items / Short stories
    Fiction & related items / Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
  • Imprint: Picador Australia
  • Price: $14.99

Around you the world is swirling - you pass through a submerged town; the bakery, a wheelbarrow, a bike floating on its side on the main street, its steeples and trees barely visible through the thick water.

In the distance the wreck of the gunship HMS Elizabeth lolls on a sandbank a couple of miles from the shore. Oil slicks the canals of the capital and even now in the midst of the bombing, the old men still tell tales of mermaids in the shallows.

A pool, empty of water save for a brackish puddle at one end that has escaped the summer heat. A mess of fine bones and hanks of fur - the remains of mice or possums that have tumbled in, lured perhaps by the water. Two boys stand by its edge, watching a stolen bracelet flash through the humid air into the deep end.

In bestselling author Chris Womersley's first short fiction collection, twenty macabre and deliciously enjoyable tales linked by the trickle of water that runs through them all will keep readers spellbound until their final, unexpected and unsettling twist...

PRAISE FOR CHRIS WOMERSLEY

'By interweaving the trivial, the humorous and the grisliest of the grisly, Chris Womersley straps us in for a shivery ride.' New York Times

'Unrepentantly daring.' The Age

'Poetic and original.' The Monthly

'Brilliantly compelling.' Australian Women's Weekly

'A master storyteller.' Australian Book Review

PRAISE FOR A LOVELY AND TERRIBLE THING

'Womersley has the chops to write prose that looks realist, then seamlessly turns vertiginously weird. His deployment of the macabre has sufficient restraint, his imagination sufficient turn, that these stories maintain the power to shock' The Australian

'There is a formal elegance to his writing, even when the language is vernacular and the settings are domestic. This creates gloomily atmospheric stories with creepy momentum that bring to mind shades of Shirley Jackson and Edgar Allan Poe, but these are not horror stories per se.' The Age

'These stories, published between 2006 and 2017, stand the test of time and assert Womersley as a powerful writer of the short form.... This collection is playful, and skips between the known and unknown, the palatable and uncomfortable. Like water, these stories are unpredictable, often turbulent, and contain great depth.' Readings Books

'The stories are weird and wonderful, heartbreaking and inspiring ... It's one with the lot.' Herald Sun

'A Lovely and Terrible Thing is a collection of taut, dark-edged, and very successful stories. Chris Womersley's novels have a well-deserved following, and this transition to short fiction will add to his readership and acclaim.' Australian Book Review

'There is a poetic lilt to Womersley's prose. And he certainly knows how to end a story. In this collection the excellent endings are masterful: some leave you contemplating what might happen even after the story ends; others effect a satisfactory full stop to the narrative.' Artshub

Author Information

Chris Womersley is the bestselling author of four novels The Low Road, Bereft and Cairo and most recently City of Crows. He has been published in the UK, US and Europe, has received the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction, an Indie Award for Best Fiction, an ABIA Award for Literary Fiction and was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award, the Gold Dagger Award for International Crime Fiction, The Age Book of the Year and the ALS Gold Medal for Literature. Chris's short fiction has appeared in Granta, The Best Australian Stories, Meanjin and Griffith Review and the anthologies Where there's Smoke, Sleepers X and Meanjin A-Z, and has also won or been shortlisted for numerous prizes. He lives in Melbourne with his wife and son. Contact him at: chriswomersley.com