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book cover of It Cracks Like Breaking Skin

It Cracks Like Breaking Skin

A collection of stories by

The linked stories that comprise It Cracks Like Breaking Skin, Stephen Foster's debut collection, are all narrated by a man called Hewitt. We first meet him growing up in Stoke-on-Trent, then we follow him through first dates, football matches, college, jobs and friendships before finally leaving him standing on a beach with his own child. Foster, a graduate from the University of East Anglia creative writing course, was also brought up in Stoke-on-Trent and seems to have done at least some of the same things as Hewitt. While this book initially appears to straddle the fiction/biography divide, in the end any specifics from Foster's own life become secondary to the universal aspects of Hewitt's journey into adulthood. As he physically and chronologically becomes from his childhood, so something like attending a friend's 30th birthday party takes on new and added significance. "Every year I select one event like this from the dwindling number" Hewitt explains. "Most of the weddings are over now, divorce parties yet to begin. Landmark birthday it is". Debut books are routinely described as promising, but on the evidence of this absorbing collection Stephen Foster has a better chance than most of actually delivering. --Nick Wroe


Praise for this book

"A crisp new tone, an unusual talent for telling stories." - Alan Sillitoe

Used availability for Stephen Foster's It Cracks Like Breaking Skin

Paperback Editions

February 1999 : UK Paperback

Title: It Cracks like Breaking Skin
Author(s): Stephen Foster
ISBN: 0-571-19506-7 / 978-0-571-19506-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA