Sexy, tender, funny and haunting by turns, the stories in Alison MacLeod’s daring new collection are tales of lovers, would-be lovers and lovers gone wrong. Here we discover ECT patient Gloria, who falls for her anaesthetist, ‘Dr Numb’; the cerebral Nick, who chases after the heavily pregnant Katie at an Ikea sale; and the legendary lovers Heloise and Abelard re-imagined for the twenty-first century. With settings that range from a cheap Paris café to London’s Hayward Gallery, and from the Brighton seafront to the Nova Scotia coast, these stories are at times magical, at times grittily real, but always affecting.
"Fifteen Modern Tales of Attraction" is a potent and heady mix. Avoiding the perils of both overt erudition and sentimental whimsy, the whole is ably piloted by MacLeod’s total control of her material. Highly recommended. ' Time Out (London)
'MacLeod's fictions are modern indeed. They are fragmentary evocations of desire and its mysteries, passing glimpses into minds and hearts: tender; pierced; translucent.... [Her] characters are strong, and they are worth listening to...' Guardian
'Beautifully crafted, they range from brilliantly observed humour - customers stampeding in Ikea at the store's launch in Notes for a Chaotic Century - to the haunting and heart-rending - the tender elegy to a middle-aged love affair in Dirty Weekend. Immensely readable.' Big Issue
'MacLeod's range – spanning the movingly real to the mysteriously surreal – is excitingly, imaginatively realised and unified by an awareness of the dark menace of love's uncertainty.' Metro (London)