Reviews

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  • Things That Are

    by Amy Leach
    Canongate
    It’s rare for a book of short stories – or rather, whimsical and poetic explorations – to contain so many of my favourite things. There are sea turtles shimmying down the Yalimapo beach at nightfall, pandas in their stubborn wisdom...
  • The Book of Life

    by Stuart Nadler
    Picador
    In the Jewish tradition, there are ten days of repentance between the Jewish New Year and the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) when members of this faith ask for forgiveness for their sins so that God will write them in...
  • The Scattering

    by Jaki McCarrick
    Seren
    The Scattering, written by prizewinning writer Jaki McCarrik, is built up of a collection of nineteen short stories, of which several have previously won awards. The nineteen stories, set mostly on the Irish border, all carry this sense of a...
  • Brief Loves that Live Forever

    by

    Andrei Makine

    Translated from French by Georffrey Strachan

    MacLehose Press
    In Soviet Russia the desire for freedom is also a desire for the freedom to love. Lovers live as outlaws, traitors to the collective spirit, and love is more intense when it feels like an act of resistance. Looking back...
  • Something Like Happy

    by John Burnside
    Jonathan Cape
    The characters in Burnside's stories are all struggling in different ways: caught in difficult marriages, lost in aimless lives, locked out of their own memories. In the title story, a young woman observes her sister's relationship with a local thug,...
  • The Last Girlfriend on Earth

    by Simon Rich
    Serpent's Tail
    The back cover copy says, 'It doesn't matter if you're a caveman, a time traveller or a regular person: sooner or later, somebody's going to break your heart.' It is a pretty apt description of the topics Simon Rich explores...
  • Every Short Story: 1952-2012

    by Alasdair Gray
    Canongate
    The writer and illustrator Alasdair Gray, best known for his first novel, Lanark (1982), proves in this collection to be also an exceptional writer of short fiction. Each of these spare, fable-like stories contains more ideas than many writers manage...
  • Granta 122

    by

    Editor: John Freeman

    Granta
    Literary magazine Granta can rarely be described as an easy read, and that is maintined with 'Betrayal'. The issue opens with Janine di Giovanni's essay 'Seven Days in Syria', the first page of which features a description of a man...
  • Vampires in the Lemon Grove

    by Karen Russell
    Chatto & Windus
    A new short story collection from Karen Russell is a joy. Her fascination with injecting fantasy and metaphysical characters into mundane situations and high drama family structures is a joy. There is something of the daydreaming child, thinking up the...
  • Cold Sea Stories

    by

    Pawel Huelle

    Translated from the Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones

    Comma Press
    The eleven complex, atmospheric tales in Cold Sea Stories are all set around the Baltic coast. In one story, a shepherd watches a pirate ship as a mysterious figure buries a chest on the beach; in another, a prisoner scrawls...
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