In sharply evoked settings that range from the wilds of Northern Greece to the beaches of Cape Cod, these intensely dramatic tales chart the metamorphoses of their characters as they fall prey to the gamut of human passions. The lives in them seethe with love, hate, desire, fear, tender corruption and cruel idealism. They rise to unexpected heights of decency, stumble into comic or tragic folly, they throw themselves open to lust, longing, paranoia - but they are always recognisably, illuminatingly, our lives.
Winner of the BBC National Short Story Award.
James Lasdun is probably the closest in recent years this country has come to a genuinely great practitioner of the short story
Elegant, acutely observed and utterly unflinching... Many writers aim to create work that is unsettling, or perhaps even painful - though not, usually, too painful to bear, at least during the actual reading of the tale. Few, however, do it so well as James Lasdun
James Lasdun seems to me to be one of the secret gardens of English writing... when we read him we know what language is for
Highly intelligent, elegantly composed, darkly haunting and greatly moving, few writers could even hope to compare with Lasdun's literary brilliance
Lasdun is a good poet; his prose here is marked by a fine, thoughtful, humane exactness