In The Turning, Tim Winton returns to the short-story format after a series of novels, and a triumphant return it is. The seventeen overlapping tales in this collection are, like much of his fiction, set in small-town Western Australia. The town of Angelus and its environs is the kind of place where ‘making it to forty’s an achievement’, as people drown in swamps, get hooked on drink, murder their partners, or quite simply self-destruct. If they don’t leave, that is – and that doesn’t tend to work out very well either.
The fact that characters reappear in different stories, suddenly glimpsed from a new angle as part of someone else’s memories, creates both unity and a sense of claustrophobia – no matter how lonely they are, they’re all in it together, and there’s no getting away from the burden of their