Exploring ideas about loss, fear, and guilt Tam May tells stories that don’t hold back. From orphaned siblings and tainted musicians, to strange art, divorce and the circus, here are five explorations of what it is to be human.
Ms May’s tales are beautifully crafted, portraying characters who are deeply flawed, broken or simply unable to escape life’s endless circle. The writing is tight and clever, but don’t be fooled – this is no place for the ordinary or the everyday. The author takes us on journeys we all know, through the familiar and remembered places of our lives, and gives us something new, or at the very least, seen from a fresh perspective. This is not a joyful book, but the language is a sheer delight to read, with a uniqueness of phrase and choice of words that is rare in writers these days.
Short stories can sometimes show writers at their worst, with the limitations of the form highlighting a lack of skill. With ‘Gnarled Bones’ however, Tam May has shown that she is a master of the form, so stand back and watch her soar.