Bookseller Information

ISBN
9781844715268
Extent
160pp
Format
Paperback
Publication Date
17-Apr-09
Publication Status
Out of print
Subject
Short stories
Trim Size
216 x 140mm

Tender

Synopsis

Tender is the story of the Dax family. Or the stories of the Dax family. When Ali and Bill meet it’s 1974, she’s a physiotherapist with a broken heart, he’s a cycle courier who dreams of writing a Hollywood film. In the next story it’s their first wedding anniversary, in the next Ali’s pregnant, and so we go on, revisiting the family on key occasions over thirty years, watching relationships develop, children grow up, big moments occur, as life unfolds in its normal, and sometimes far from normal, way. The point of view shifts from story to story, so that we see things first through Ali’s eyes, then Bill’s, and later through the eyes of their children, Sean and Rosa. And then there’s Ali’s brother, Frank, popping up now and then with his own unique way of viewing the world. And what happens? At various times, Ali has murder on her mind, Bill fears his life is turning into sit-com, Rosa is bullied, Sean plots escape and Frank … no one really knows what’s going on in Frank’s head. Just an ordinary family, then, trying to cope with life, and each other. A family with a history that develops in front of your eyes. A family with stories to tell.

Tender is the story of the Dax family. Or the stories of the Dax family. When Ali and Bill meet it’s 1974, she’s a physiotherapist with a broken heart, he’s a cycle courier who dreams of writing a Hollywood film. In the next story it’s their first wedding anniversary, in the next Ali’s pregnant, and so we go on, revisiting the family on key occasions over thirty years, watching relationships develop, children grow up, big moments occur, as life unfolds in its normal, and sometimes far from normal, way. The point of view shifts from story to story, so that we see things first through Ali’s eyes, then Bill’s, and later through the eyes of their children, Sean and Rosa. And then there’s Ali’s brother, Frank, popping up now and then with his own unique way of viewing the world. And what happens? At various times, Ali has murder on her mind, Bill fears his life is turning into sit-com, Rosa is bullied, Sean plots escape and Frank … no one really knows what’s going on in Frank’s head. Just an ordinary family, then, trying to cope with life, and each other. A family with a history that develops in front of your eyes. A family with stories to tell.

Praise for this Book

‘Mark Illis is a great stylist: eloquent, graceful, quiet. His work has wonderful subtlety and surprising strength.’ —Anne Enright

‘Mark Illis is a great stylist: eloquent, graceful, quiet. His work has wonderful subtlety and surprising strength.’ —Anne Enright

Reviews of this Book

‘On A Chinese Summer: Haunting and perceptive.’ —Books

‘On A Chinese Summer: Excellent first novel.’ —Literary Review

‘On A Chinese Summer: Rich in passion and promise.’ —New York Times Book Review

‘On The Alchemist: Freely enjoyable, smart, wry-humoured, even poetic.’ —London Review of Books

‘On The Alchemist: Moving and entertaining.’ —Times Educational Supplement

‘On The Alchemist: The main attraction is Illis’s ability to dazzle with character and imagination.’ —Evening Standard

‘On The Alchemist: Illis has the gift of the philosopher’s stone.’ —The Times

‘On The Feather Report: This very intelligent book is refreshingly sane, and it gives a funny but compassionate picture of the human need for order, the different ways that people try to cope with life, and the almost universal madness involved in reading the world.’ —Times Literary Supplement

‘Tender can mean loving. But in this coolly observed, meticulously crafted family drama, one is reminded that it also means damaged, and acutely vulnerable to further hurt.

’ —Independent

‘Illis has an engaging style and his prose is vivid and inventively colloquial’ —TLS

‘Tender can mean loving. But in this coolly observed, meticulously crafted family drama, one is reminded that it also means damaged, and acutely vulnerable to further hurt.

’ —Independent

‘Illis has an engaging style and his prose is vivid and inventively colloquial’ —TLS

Praise for Previous Work

‘On A Chinese Summer: Haunting and perceptive.’ —Books

‘On A Chinese Summer: Excellent first novel.’ —Literary Review

‘On A Chinese Summer: Rich in passion and promise.’ —New York Times Book Review

‘On The Alchemist: Freely enjoyable, smart, wry-humoured, even poetic.’ —London Review of Books

‘On The Alchemist: Moving and entertaining.’ —Times Educational Supplement

‘On The Alchemist: The main attraction is Illis’s ability to dazzle with character and imagination.’ —Evening Standard

‘On The Alchemist: Illis has the gift of the philosopher’s stone.’ —The Times

‘On The Feather Report: This very intelligent book is refreshingly sane, and it gives a funny but compassionate picture of the human need for order, the different ways that people try to cope with life, and the almost universal madness involved in reading the world.’ —Times Literary Supplement





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