Winner of the NZSA Hubert Church Best First Book of Fiction award 2010
A little girl out of her depth in her friendship with an adult neighbour; an armed intruder thwarted by a bee; a woman determined to believe in her brother’s goodness under the shadow of accusation; a Christmas dinner guest who will eat only peas – these stories effortlessly mix the menacing and the comic, and handle real-life situations with warmth and subtlety.
Relief introduces an astonishingly mature and confident new voice in New Zealand fiction.
Praise for Relief
‘Dark, sometimes menacing, often funny, this is an extraordinary collection of stories. They are beautifully understated, yet deeply layered, and the weather is a wonderful character in many of them. My favourite two are “Michael is Fasting for Christmas” and “In the Wind” – both deal with dark subjects in witty and original ways.’
—Carole Beu, The Women's Bookshop, Speaking Volumes, Radio NZ National
‘These are wonderful stories, exquisitely observed and recorded with delicacy and wit.’
‘… Anna Taylor in these stories has the command of technique to make the most of interesting story material, most of it to do with family relationships, from the ordinary to the extreme.’
—Lawrence Jones, Otago Daily Times
‘Taylor has produced a superb debut collection, is unafraid to turn calamities into blessings, and writes with the elegance and composure of a silversmith. I can't wait to read what she does next.’
—Paula Green, NZ Herald