The Truth Has Arms and Legs

Delve into a world of change and reinvention.

Where relationships are as delicate as turtle eggs,

and just as easily smashed.

This poignant short story collection explores pivotal moments that transform our lives. Jenny, whose life is defined by small disasters, discovers a more generous version of herself. A traveller girl might just win her race and alter her life's course. A widow, cut off in a riverside backwater,

opens her heart to a stranger.

In this captivating collection by award-winning writer

Alice Fowler, readers will be moved by the raw vulnerability of human connection, and the resilence that allows us to grow and thrive in the face of hardship.

In change, Fowler's characters find the ability to be truly free.

"These are precious things: stories written with delicacy and heart. Chance meetings and significant moments are rendered precisely and to such moving effect, in this deeply skilful and wise collection" - Wendy Erskine

"Fowler weaves a collection of stories out of fine, tender threads. Each one vibrates with her compassionate observation of life" - Vanessa Onwuemezi

"These elegant, atmospheric short stories are filled with passion, renewal and movement but each has a quiet strength all of its own. Fowler writes beautifully" - Imogen Robertson, Historical Writers' Association

"Alice Fowler's collection of short stories capture precise and intimate moments of being" - Sally Bayley

Praise for The Truth Has Arms and Legs:

The Truth Has Arms And Legs deserves every moment spent reading it, savouring the incredibly humanity Alice Fowler displays in her writing, her complete understanding of the human condition and her luminous brilliance in writing. Descriptions are vivid and affecting, direct speech is natural and convincing, characters leap from the page as real people and each story is a sparkling jewel of literary brilliance. This collection has gone straight onto my list of favourite reads this year.” – Linda Hill, Linda’s Book Bag

“Poignant and perfectly paced, these lovely stories lean towards happy outcomes, compassionate compromises, unexpectedly rewarding friendships and good deeds. There's hardships and heartache here too, but Fowler's relatable characters are interested in making the best of difficult situations, from early onset dementia to the death of a beloved son.” – Eithne Farry, Daily Mail

"To say Fowler's stories are heartwarming would be a triumph of generalisation: subtle, profound, troubling...they illuminate a way of seeing, or rather feeling, that is as wise as their dramatis personae are emotionally intelligent." - Steve Whitaker, Literary Editor, The Yorkshire Times


“This is a powerful and moving collection with strong and interesting female characters at the heart. Vivid descriptions and stunning, beautiful prose swept me straight into each story with ease and made me keep wanting to read on. Razor sharp, savvy insights and a compelling read.” – Emma Hardy, Bobs and Books


“It is always amazing to me how writers can capture a moment in time and imbue it with such depth and meaning and beauty in just a few words, and this short story collection is a perfectly crafted assemblage of some of the finest examples I’ve read recently. Each one is a gem, beautifully formed and succinct but with a clear message and a strong and distinct voice.”  - Julie Morris, A Little Book Problem


“This was such a fine collection of stories. You've got to admire a writer who can make each story singularly unique and at the same time maintain a strong voice throughout. For me the writing had notes that reminded me of Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann and Weather by Jenny Offill. It reaches into the past in places to tell stories that at first seem distant, then you realise they are the stories of our grandmothers. And they are stories that resonate with contemporary energy. A strong and absorbing collection.” - Thomas, Who Gives A Book

The Truth Has Arms And Legs moved, entertained and inspired me. From the shortest story of just two pages long, the twelve tales have believable and memorable individuals, cutting through to the heart of their lives with fantastic brevity and clarity.” – Hugh Coakley, Guildford Dragon News

“Fowler’s writing subtly draws you into her miniature realities that linger long after reading. Historical fiction sits comfortably alongside contemporary settings, and the author is equally at ease in both which is an impressive skill. These stories made me laugh, cry and think. This is such a wonderful debut, clearly announcing Alice Fowler as a name to watch in the fiction world. I can’t wait to read more of her writing.” – Tracy Fells


“Every story is beautifully crafted, with a focus on unique life experiences such as motherhood, grief or old age. I love the language Alice Fowler uses to capture each gem of a story. This is a bold collection which conveys the joys and trials of life’s journeys.” – Gail Aldwin


“I loved these short stories by Alice Fowler. From everyday dramas to life-changing moments, moving back and forward in time, they give glimpses into the richness and diversity of human experience... In fiction, short or long, I need this: a plot that keeps me guessing and beautiful writing. I would highly recommend these vibrant and satisfying stories.” – Deborah Jenkins