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Marion Sharville’s fourth anthology moves from poetry to a treasury of her short stories – picked from the wealth of a long lifetime’s work, not yet over at 94. Telling Tales spans many years and many topics, as ever hallmarked with humour and humanity. In reading, one cannot separate Marion’s work from her audience. As a child this would have been her alone: an early found talent, writing for its own rewards. Her audience broadened with the arrival of seven children and later numerous offspring of their own, then friends and now a growing band of fans as her published work grows in luminance.

She has been long fascinated by children and adults making their way uniquely through life, and so they are at once the subjects and the recipients of her gift. Her work is loved because we see ourselves in it, and we understand ourselves a little better for it – often less seriously. After all, what is an older man to do to find love when he’s got no car and can no longer get his leg over his bike? And who do you to turn to when the biggest pest in your life is your mother? Telling Tales is suburban gossip of the highest calibre.

Her work is loved because we see ourselves in it