Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned | Granta

  • Published: 01/04/2010
  • ISBN: 9781847081209
  • 129x20mm
  • 240 pages

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned

Wells Tower

A man is thrown out of his home after his wife discovers that the sweat-smudged footprint on the inside of his windscreen doesn’t match her own. Teenage cousins, drugged by summer, meet with a reckoning in the woods. A boy runs off to the carnival after his stepfather bites him in a brawl. In the stories of Wells Tower, families fall apart and messily, hilariously try to reassemble themselves. His characters – marauding Vikings, washed-up entrepreneurs and jobbing hacks on local papers – are adrift from the mainstream, confused by contemporary masculinity, angry and aimless. Combining electric prose with compassion and dark wit, this is a major debut.

Tower's prose is muscular and poetic with an almost vertiginous momentum and his characters teeter on the brink of emotional collapse ... This is a collection that, for once, lives up to the hype. Watch out for Wells

Sunday Times

Short stories exploring love, violence and the fear that has us lying, eyes open, in the dark. An extraordinary debut and a sensitive, surprising voice

The Times Review

Reading them, you are reminded of how Richard Ford, a master of the craft, once proposed the quality of "audacity" as the defining characteristic of perfect short stories, suggesting that they were always "the high-wire act of literature". In this sense, Tower certainly makes you crane your neck


The Author

Wells Tower was born in Vancouver in 1973. He has been the recipient of the Paris Review Discovery Prize, two Pushcart Prizes and a Henfield Foundation award. He lives in New York.

More about the author →

Wells Tower on Granta.com

Fiction | The Online Edition

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned

Wells Tower

‘Thanks to the easy wind bellying our sails, we crossed fast and sighted the island six days early.’