Tom Lee - The Alrming Palsy of James Orr

The Alarming Palsy
of James Orr

Advance praise:
‘This is contemporary suburban noir, which, with a wry touch and a lopsided wink to Revolutionary Road, skilfully lures you into a delicately creeping nightmare’
Ross Raisin

‘Politely calamitous and deeply affecting. Tom Lee can actually do what many writers think they can do’
Cynan Jones

‘Tom Lee writes tenderly and with humour of familial love and the poignancy of the mundane, while an accumulating sense of unease compels the reader towards a shocking act of violence and its unsettling aftermath’
Shena Mackay

‘A slim shiver of dread and paranoia, Tom Lee’s superb debut novel explores the darkness that exists millimetres beneath the seemingly normal, regular world. It is a read-in-one sitting fable of considerable power and skill’
Stuart Evers

Reviewed in:
The Times
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The National
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Financial Times
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The opening chapters were published in Granta 140

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Tom was interviewed by The Guardian

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The Alarming Palsy of James Orr



Claustrophobic, intense, troubled, these twelve astonishing stories hold a flare to the strange, elusive corners of our world, past and present; from the United States of the Gold Rush era to the Berlin of today, from Victorian England to the dusty border towns and high cities of modern South America.

A young couple's passionate affair unravels as they wait anxiously in their hotel room for news of a recklessly conceived drug deal.

An academic inherits a set of diaries detailing her great-grandfather's development of a bizarre new field of science; an endeavour which has shocking implications for his young daughter and unfaithful wife. 

And in Greenfly, a housebound woman is driven to distraction by the insects infesting her house - putting strain on an already fractured relationship with her partner.

‘Tensions… pervade the collection as a whole, fizzing with an energy at once dark and playful, swift in its impact, enduring in its effect… Deftly, wryly, Lee leaves us squirming in our seats.’
Toby Lichtig, The Times Literary Supplement

Tom Lee - Greenfly



Stories and Non-Fiction


The Creaking Door

The Dublin Review Read here

The Invader and the Antidote

The Dublin Review
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Short Stories:


Zoetrope All-Story
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A number of stories have also appeared in The Dublin Review

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News & Events

17th November - Wivenhoe Bookshop

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30th November - Gower Street Waterstones

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6th December - Goldsmiths Writers Centre

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Tom Lee’s fiction and memoir have appeared in The Sunday Times, Esquire and Prospect in the UK, The Dublin Review in Ireland and in Francis Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope All Story in the United States, among others. Greenfly, his debut collection of short stories, was published by Harvill Secker.

In 2012 he was shortlisted for The Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award, the largest prize for a single short story in the world and in 2015 his non-fiction account of spending 51 days in intensive care was longlisted for The Notting Hill Essay Prize. Tom’s first novel, The Alarming Palsy of James Orr, is published Granta. He lives in London and teaches at Goldsmiths.