Jill Jones reviews 'The Man Who Took To His Bed' by Alex Skovron

Jill Jones reviews 'The Man Who Took To His Bed' by Alex Skovron

The Man Who Took To His Bed

by Alex Skovron

Puncher & Wattmann, $26.95 pb, 152 pp, 9781922186973

This is a playful, intelligent, unsettling series of stories, fourteen of them, collected from publications going back a few decades from 1987 until 2012 as well as, presumably, unpublished work. Due in part to this long span, the book traces back and forth through time. There is even a Sydney pre-Opera House (just) in one story, and various social and cultural artefacts and processes come and go.

For the most part, Skovron uses understated, non-flashy prose rather than, dare I say, ‘poetic’ prose, and these stories are the better for that. He is, of course, much more well-known as one of Australia’s pre-eminent poets. This is his first collection of short stories; he has previously published a novella, The Poet (2005). Not only does Skovron demonstrate talent with prose but he is also an artist; the book’s charming cover illustration, called ‘Clock’, is his own work as well.

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Published in March 2018, no. 399
Jill Jones

Jill Jones

Jill Jones has published nine full-length books of poetry including Breaking the Days (2015), The Beautiful Anxiety (2014), which won the 2015 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Poetry, and Ash is Here, So are Stars (2012). Her work is represented in major anthologies including the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature and The Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry. She is a member of the J.M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice, University of Adelaide. She was poet-in-residence at Stockholm University for five months in 2014-15.

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