Summat Else

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The Porcupine's Quill, 2004 - Fiction - 169 pages
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Summat Else, Royston Tester's debut collection of short fiction, sketches the life and times of Enoch Jones, too clever and too queer to be a working-class lad from Birmingham, the polluted heart of England's `Black Country'. In these linked stories, Tester gives us unforgettable glimpses of Enoch's youth, introducing him first as the adopted son of a family of `caravan runts', then as a juvenile delinquent in an animal kingdom of doddering majors and simpering pigeon-fanciers, all blind to their own grotesquerie.

Enoch escapes, `eighteen and out of England', to the brutality of Spain during Franco's final months, where he turns tricks in hostels while dodging riots, gunfire and marriage. Eventually, the story circles back on itself, and Tester burrows into the murk of Enoch's genesis: an industrial landscape populated with teenage factory girls, holy joes, virgins in ditches, and, ringing throughout, disembodied voices `like someone reading the Lord's Prayer backward all the time, or shouting directions in Latin from inside a bowl of porridge.'

Summat else indeed.

 

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Contents

Now Showing
11
Theres a Comma after Love
25
Lessons in Space
41
In the Time of Silly Pudding
61
Summat Else
125
Let Us Eat and Drink
135
Nancys Boy
149
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Royston Tester grew up in Birmingham, the English Midlands. Before emigrating to Canada in 1978, he spent time in London, Barcelona, and Melbourne. A Canadian citizen, he is a fellow of the Hawthornden writers' retreat in Scotland, the Valparaiso Foundation in Spain and is a frequent Leighton Studio artist-resident at the Banff Centre for the Arts, Alberta. He was educated in English and European Literature at Essex University in the UK and in Modern British Literature at McMaster University

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