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Touch [Paperback]

Graham Mort
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

1 Mar 2010
From the heat of Africa to the warmth of France or the snowbound dales of northern England, this is an assured and absorbing collection. Including the Bridport prize-winning story 'The Prince', Touch spans twenty years of short-story writing from author and poet Graham Mort. From a young child adrift on an ice-filled lake to an ageing farmer facing life alone, the twenty-one stories display a deep sensitivity to both the natural world and to human relationships. In skilfully crafted prose, vivid with detail, Mort examines the strength and fragility of life and the ties that hold us within it.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Seren (1 Mar 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 185411512X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1854115126
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 13.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 439,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Graham Mort is Professor of Creative Writing and Transcultural Literature at Lancaster University. He has worked extensively in Africa for the British Council, designing literature development projects and radio productions. Visibility: New & Selected Poems, appeared from Seren in 2007, when he was also winner of the Bridport Competition short story prize. His book of short fiction, Touch, was published by Seren in 2010 and won the Edge Hill Prize in the following year. A new book of poems, Cusp, appeared from Seren in 2011.

Product Description


I chose 'The Prince' - because the writing is word-perfect - with the story quietly remarking on how something out of the ordinary both does and doesn't affect daily life. In particular, I was enchanted by deft descriptions of nature - Novelist and Bridport judge Tracy Chevalier

About the Author

Graham Mort is the director of postgraduate studies in creative writing at Lancaster University. He is the author of the Bridport prize-winning story "The Prince."

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful collection - one to read and reread... 14 April 2010
This is a rich collection of beautifully written stories. `The Prince' has been one of my all-time favourite short stories since it won the Bridport Prize in 2007. The book was a pleasure from beginning to end and lived up to my high expectations from reading `The Prince'. Each story is alive with details of the natural world and provides a vibrant sense of place and time. Within those textured worlds, characters are lovingly evoked, their situations unraveling in a range of surprising ways: for the collection contains an impressive range of coming of age stories, love stories, muted tragedies and biting black comedies. Lyrical poem-like narratives - `The Beauty of Ice' and `Why I've Always Loved Fishmongers' and `The Prince' - develop into heart-rending coming of age stories. Tender love stories like `A Walk in the Snow' and `Resistance' are counterbalanced by the wry humour of `Friday Night' and `Smokehouse'. Other pieces such as `Ducklings' and `The Caretaker' are clever pieces of suspense and carry the reader into darker territory. Throughout, the stories are politically aware as well as personally resonant. All in all, Touch is one to read and reread - beautifully written, tender and moving, funny and sad.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short stories with a punch 16 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Graham Mort is a highly-regarded poet and I have read three of his collections, but I only recently
discovered that he had published a book of short stories. I ordered my copy from Amazon, eager to
see if it lived up to my expectations. I wasn't disappointed. All twenty-one stories are a slice of life.
Tough and gritty, but never bleak, most of them are set in the north of England, Mort's usual stamping ground. But there's nothing doggedly provincial in style or content, and his departure into stories set
in other parts of the world show a freshness and varsatility I never expected, though still with his trade-
mark humour and shrewd observation. Not surprisingly, there's some fine writing here - it is the work
a poet, after all - but this never holds up the action and I found myself re-reading many passages, just
to savour the beauty of them.
Quite the best collection I have read in a very long time. Highly recommended.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Out of touch. 13 Sep 2013
I prefer stories to poetry; this collection does neither well. I didn't finish it because the pieces were dull and implausible, with an obstacle course of unnecessary similes and pretentious poetic padding that would have got in the way of the "story" -if there had been a story. No amount of irrelevant verbiage can disguise the fact that nothing much is happening.

The cover blurb describes the author as a "master of the genre" of the short story. He isn't - he's a poet who is out of his depth attempting even the simplest of stories. For a story to succeed something has to happen and, usually, something has to change. Fragments of narrative, situations that don't evolve and prose poems in disguise are not stories. Imposing second rate poetry on a piece of prose serves neither well. Perhaps the author should stick to poetry.
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