If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things
An ordinary afternoon on an ordinary street. In his room at number eighteen, a nervous young man is storing away his things. Two doors down, a girl with blonde hair is packing her possessions, uncertain of where she's going next. Across the road, a mother and father are sneaking away to their bedroom and locking the door; a houseful of young people are re-emerging from their night before; a man is painting the window-frames of his house. There is cricket, a barbecue, music, voices drifting from open windows...
But this is an extraordinary day, like any other. It is a day crammed full of the unspoken, of love stories, unacknowledged grievances, unwitnessed triumphs, and, as the day draws to a close, a terrible moment of tragedy.
With heart-stopping clarity of observation, the lives of an English street are brought indelibly before the reader, coming into focus like Polaroids on the page. Only once in a while does a new writer appear with so much music and poetry that he can make the world seem new. Jon McGregor is such a writer.