In Scission, Tim Winton’s first collection of short stories, the world he paints is often harsh and disturbing, inhabited by isolated, unforgiving characters. It is a world at once familiar, filled with the trappings of home and family, and yet also strangely twisted; a world where casual brutality and unexpected death are never far from the surface.
Evident in a young girl’s violent temper once the eggs she has so jealously guarded finally hatch, or in the careless indifference of the woman stepping over a soldier’s spreadeagled body, Tim Winton’s world is a place where dysfunction and disorder constantly threaten the equilibrium. But there is compassion and beauty there too – whether it’s in the brush of a father’s hand against his young son’s cheek, or the neighbours who wait patiently to celebrate the arrival of a new baby.
‘Tim Winton is the real thing: a writer who can photograph a thought and pluck out the beat of a soul on a washing line.’ – Scotland on Sunday