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
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
Winton is boisterous and lyrical by turns; his sense of sentiment is unerringly accurate, his characters unforgettable. The emotional control exercised over his anarchic world puts Winton in the top drawer of Australian fiction.
Winton’s compassionate and humorous writing is nothing short of magnificent. If you can imagine Neighbours taken over by the writing team of John Steinbeck and Gabriel García Márquez, you’re close.