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Deborah Kay Davies

Grace, Tamar and Laszlo the Beautiful

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Winner of Wales Book of the Year 2009

This is no ordinary random collection of short stories. Here each brief narrative stands on its own yet forms part of a continuous and powerful sequence.

Set in the eastern valleys of south Wales from 1970 to the present day, it relates the history of Grace and Tamar, their volatile childhood, disruptive coming-of-age and dubious maturity. The book is part novel, part fantasy, part social history. More than anything it tells dark, universal tales about how utterly strange it is to learn to be human.

Readers who know Deborah Kay Davies’ poetry may be better prepared than most for the shock of her debut collection of stories, Grace Tamar and Laszlo the Beautiful, by turns moving, hilarious and terrifying, and often all three at once.