Axiomatic by Maria Tumarkin

axiomatic book cover

Judges' Comments 

Axiomatic is a collection of genre-defying essays which takes truths we accept as self-evident - ‘time heals all wounds’, ‘history repeats itself’, ‘you can’t enter the same river twice’ - and explores them in a highly original, unconventional and often unsettling way. 

Blending creative non fiction, memoir, journalism, psychology and history, Maria Tumarkin confronts dark themes head-on and challenges wisdom that has become clichéd.

Messing with time, refusing the conventions of linear story-telling and fragmenting the narrative, Tumarkin creates an almost syncopated or collage effect.  Writing in a singular style and voice that refuses easy categorisation, she explores and expands the full potential of realism in thrilling new ways.  Her challenging exploration of those at the margins of society and her unflinching insight into human behaviour and trauma -  including teen suicide, child abduction and drug addiction - is never predictable. 

Her prose is bracingly tough, spare and unadorned, giving it a stern power. Challenging, unsettling, innovative, Tumarkin is a fearless explorer of the human condition and of the tension between the past and the present.  Her unique perspective, insights and humanity shine through the darkness to provide a thrilling but disquieting portrait of our times.