The Stone Age
At first sight, Jen Hadfield’s new collection is an astonishingly sharp depiction of the wild landscape of her Shetland home, its people and their working lives, and the things they make and live amongst. But the reader will soon discover in The Stone Age a work of visionary power: in Hadfield’s telling, everything – door and wall, flower and rain, shore and sea, the standing stones whose presences charge the land – has a living consciousness, one which can be engaged with as a personal encounter.
The Stone Age is a timely reminder that our neurodiversity is a gift: we do not all see the world the world in the same way, and the sharing of our various experience enriches it immeasurably. Hadfield’s lyric line and unashamedly high-stakes wordplay are speech hard-won from silence, and provide nothing less than a portal into a different kind of being. The Stone Age is the work of a singular artist at the height of her powers, one which dramatically extends the range of our shared experience.
'There is something magical and incantatory in the way she cherished language at the level of the name, as if utterance itself might be a way of dwelling in the real and making oneself at home there.' New Statesman