Each of the overlapping stories in Tim Winton's The Turning centres on a transformation; together they form the bestselling Australian collection of the last three decades.
Tim Winton's characters are people we're familiar with – their struggles and small triumphs are our own. Here they change in ways that are sometimes vast, sometimes indistinct, but every story illuminates things we take for granted. Even as some of these lives turn from expansive hope to defeated middle-age, there's a sense of greater possibility, fuelled by the great turning of time itself.
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'The writing is frankly brilliant . . . Winton shows us how startling ordinary life is. And he does it in a way that's more amazing than if he had shown a ghost shimmering on the page.' Boston Globe
'Each of these seventeen stories is a self-contained whole . . . yet the sequence reveals striking connections among seemingly disparate lives and experiences. The result is at times mysterious, moving and occasionally deeply unsettling.' Sydney Morning Herald
'Winton is a poet of baffled souls . . . To read him is to be reminded not just of the possibilities of fiction but of the human heart.' The Times
Well-known in his native Australia and twice shortlisted for the Man Booker, Winton (Dirt Music, etc.) is overdue for wider recognition in the U.S. This collection of linked stories showcases his strengths: memorable characters colliding with the moments that define them for better or worse and clean, evocative prose that captures the often stultifying life in smalltown Western Australia. In the title story, Raelene, a young wife and mother living in a trailer park with her abusive husband, Max, becomes fascinated with her happy new neighbors; the seemingly perfect couple's influence sets Raelene on a muddled path toward self-examination, resulting in a transformation shocking for both its brutality and na vet . "Sand" reveals Max's cruelty as a young boy he tries to bury his younger brother alive while "Family" shows the two brothers meeting again as adults, with the balance of power between them shifting dramatically. Another character, Vic, is central to the book: he appears as an awkward adolescent fixated on unattainable older girls, as a young man coping with the legacy of his father's alcoholism and abandonment, and as a middle-aged man unable to come to terms with his past. Winton reveals a wide but finely turned swath of simmering inner lives; the sweetness of these stories, as well as their sharp bite, feels earned and real.