The Humiliation Triptych is Welsh-born writer Jones Jones' first book. It's a collection of dark, violent tales of woe set between central/eastern Europe and Wales, written during a period of intense stress and anxiety.
The first 10 short stories – including Cancer, and the title story, The Humiliation Triptych – are exhilaratingly frank studies of a mind in turmoil, expressed through cold, stark language:
'Earlier that day she'd had an abortion. An old woman with dirty hands did it in our hotel room. This old woman brought a leather doctor's bag with a purse clasp, like you see in films. She laid out all these steel instruments on the bedside table she'd covered with a table cloth.'
The other story in the book – Riot – ups the ante. A raw, visceral rant by a teenage boy hemmed in by apathy, sex and violence on all sides in small town Wales is bleak, frightening and funny, all at once:
'Someone told me later that he was ready to lamp me, Sean; so he said. But he could've been ready to do whatever his tiny little heart desired, he wouldn't have got near me. His hands didn't move from his sides. Hanging there, limp as you like. Would've put him down inside ten seconds, curly-haired c**t.'
Beautifully illustrated throughout by graphic artist Rachael Lightowler.