Quinn by Em Strang - review by Lucy Dale

Lucy Dale

Repeat Offender



Oneworld 208pp £14.99

Quinn is in prison for murdering his wife, Andrea, but this is not a prison we would recognise. A ‘Stone Man’ lives in the corner of Quinn’s cell, taking photographs of his naked body and sticking them over the walls. The basement is filled with vicious crows and a woman with eyes like ‘dirty teaspoons’. Quinn protests his innocence and is shocked when he is released to care for Andrea’s elderly mother, Jennifer, who wants to forgive him and find a way of ‘letting go’.

That Em Strang is a poet comes as no surprise. She packs the text with natural imagery and quirky linguistic choices – ‘my hands were hanging like dead fish’, ‘the sky was a grey rag that nobody had ever washed’ – and repeated phrases: ‘gloss paint’, ‘suffering’, ‘truth’ and

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