Welcome to Normal by Nick Earls is our new Book of the Week.
Veteran novelist Nick Earls (48 Shades of Brown, The True Story of Butterfish and Zigzag Street) returns with a brilliant new collection of short stories on the human condition with Welcome to Normal.
There's no geographical centre to this book, as Earls takes us from the frantic streets of Taiwan to suburban Brisbane and the tourist traps of Spain. Yet the common thread is, as the author himself noted in our recent Q&A, an eye for the silent yet powerful moments in everyday life that often go unnoticed. The charge of attraction between a man and the wife of his boss' best friend one cold night in Illinois, a bitter revelations between a son and his father on a holiday that takes a sudden turn into what might have been, the comfort drawn of mutual flaws by two reluctant friends at a cafe.
As Jessica Au noted in her review: 'there’s a completeness to [Earls'] writing that shows. Or, to talk of the reverse, a skill that means you never feel the labour of it... The characters here are all expats of a kind, forced to react when thrown out of their comfort zones, through travel, separation or unwanted company. Each of them undergoing seismic shifts that take place internally, without anyone noticing and within the blink of an eye.'
Welcome to Normal is out now in paperback ($29.95).