AustLit logo
image of person or book cover 5800997112865705438.jpg
Image courtesy of publisher's website.
y separately published work icon A Lovely and Terrible Thing selected work   short story  
Issue Details: First known date: 2019... 2019 A Lovely and Terrible Thing
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Around you the world is swirling - you pass through a submerged town; the bakery, a wheelbarrow, a bike floating on its side on the main street, its steeples and trees barely visible through the thick water.

'In the distance the wreck of the gunship HMS Elizabeth lolls on a sandbank a couple of miles from the shore. Oil slicks the canals of the capital and even now in the midst of the bombing, the old men still tell tales of mermaids in the shallows.

'A pool, empty of water save for a brackish puddle at one end that has escaped the summer heat. A mess of fine bones and hanks of fur - the remains of mice or possums that have tumbled in, lured perhaps by the water. Two boys stand by its edge, watching a stolen bracelet flash through the humid air into the deep end.

'In bestselling author Chris Womersley's first short fiction collection, twenty macabre and deliciously enjoyable tales linked by the trickle of water that runs through them all will keep readers spellbound until their final, unexpected and unsettling twist...'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Sydney, New South Wales,: Picador , 2019 .
      image of person or book cover 5800997112865705438.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 270p.
      Note/s:
      • Published 23 April 2019.

      ISBN: 9781760786205

Other Formats

Works about this Work

What I’m Reading Allee Richards , 2019 single work column
— Appears in: Meanjin Online 2019;
[Review] A Lovely and Terrible Thing Eugen Bacon , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Aurealis , no. 121 2019;

— Review of A Lovely and Terrible Thing Chris Womersley , 2019 selected work short story
Taut and Dark-Edged Brenda Walker , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , May no. 411 2019; (p. 32)

'In Chris Womersley’s collection of short fiction, A Lovely and Terrible Thing, a man is caught in a fugue moment. Just after unexpectedly discharging a gun into the body of a stranger, he gazes at his reflection in a darkened window pane: ‘I saw someone outside looking in, before realising it was, in fact, my own reflection hovering like a small, sallow moon in the darkness.’ He stands for so many characters in this collection, visible beyond the boundaries of human habitation, forlorn, misinterpreted, and somehow failing, initially at least, to notice the mighty forces of chaos and destruction that lie before him. The mismatch between the shooting and the fey rumination is very funny, and black humour is another characteristic of the stories in A Lovely and Terrible Thing, where sensational events and wry, poised writing establish Womersley as an impressive writer of short fiction. His novels, City of Crows (2017), Cairo (2013), Bereft (2010), and The Low Road (2007), work with crime and the Gothic, with displacement in a geographical and psychic sense.'  (Introduction)

[Review] A Lovely and Terrible Thing Eugen Bacon , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Aurealis , no. 121 2019;

— Review of A Lovely and Terrible Thing Chris Womersley , 2019 selected work short story
Taut and Dark-Edged Brenda Walker , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , May no. 411 2019; (p. 32)

'In Chris Womersley’s collection of short fiction, A Lovely and Terrible Thing, a man is caught in a fugue moment. Just after unexpectedly discharging a gun into the body of a stranger, he gazes at his reflection in a darkened window pane: ‘I saw someone outside looking in, before realising it was, in fact, my own reflection hovering like a small, sallow moon in the darkness.’ He stands for so many characters in this collection, visible beyond the boundaries of human habitation, forlorn, misinterpreted, and somehow failing, initially at least, to notice the mighty forces of chaos and destruction that lie before him. The mismatch between the shooting and the fey rumination is very funny, and black humour is another characteristic of the stories in A Lovely and Terrible Thing, where sensational events and wry, poised writing establish Womersley as an impressive writer of short fiction. His novels, City of Crows (2017), Cairo (2013), Bereft (2010), and The Low Road (2007), work with crime and the Gothic, with displacement in a geographical and psychic sense.'  (Introduction)

What I’m Reading Allee Richards , 2019 single work column
— Appears in: Meanjin Online 2019;
Last amended 13 Oct 2020 12:01:06
Newspapers:
    Powered by Trove
    X