Married Love is a masterful collection of short fiction from one of today's most accomplished storytellers. These tales showcase the qualities for which Tessa Hadley has long been praised: her humor, warmth, and psychological acuity; her powerful, precise, and emotionally dense prose; her unflinching examinations of family relationships.
Here are stories that range widely across generations and classes, exploring the private and public lives of unforgettable characters: a young girl who haunts the edges of her parents' party; a wife released by the sudden death of her film-director husband; an eighteen-year-old who insists on marrying her music professor, only to find herself shut out from his secrets.
In this stunning collection, Hadley evokes worlds that expand in the imagination far beyond the pages, capturing domestic dramas, generational sagas, wrenching love affairs and epiphanies, and distilling them to remarkable effect.
"[Hadley] is kind to the families she creates - mothers and fathers especially are respected, even revered. But when she dissects them with her sharp instruments of observation, she strikes nerves that can cause pain." - Publishers Weekly
"Hadley's command of the telling detail, the unspoken riposte, and the subtle interpersonal struggles that fuel everyday human actions infuses this collection with both saucy fire and sobering fatalism." - Booklist
"There is not a lot of domestic bliss to be found in these finely rendered stories, but there are many small moments of everyday life made recognizable by an exceptional storyteller. Highly recommended." - Library Journal
"Shrewd, insightful, unpredictable, Hadley's stories successfully plumb the complicated daily deeps." - Kirkus
"Hadley's power...is best felt as she teases out the often dangerous crackles in the air and cracks in the heart. There's a louche tautness to her prose..." - Sunday Times (UK)
"[Hadley's stories] are often like movie clips of lives in transit, their small shifts of focus yielding up flashes of psychological insight. ... Hadley excels at the domestic context, at pinpointing the particular quiddity on which an individual character turns; at marking the tiny swings of allegiance in human relationships." - The Independent (UK)
"One of the most interesting writers around ... This collection shows a writer quietly growing in style, perception and grace. She conveys to the reader that rare ability to see completely into someone else's head." - The Spectator (UK)
"Only Alice Munro and Colm Tóibin, among all the working short story writer I'm aware of, are so adept at portraying whole lives in a few thousand words. With Married Love, Hadley joins their company as one of the most clear-sighted chroniclers of contemporary emotional journeys." - The Guardian (UK)
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Rated of 5
These are very literary stories, and Hadley does a great job of noticing even the minutiae in the lives of her characters. She brings the readers attention to their surroundings and follows their lives longer than many short story writers do. Of course I had favorites and a few I could not relate to, but as a whole I enjoyed these stories of relationships god and bad.
Tessa Hadley is the author of four highly praised novels: Accidents in the Home, which was long-listed for the Guardian First Book Award; Everything Will Be All Right; The Master Bedroom; The London Train, which was a New York Times Notable Book; and a previous collection of stories, Sunstroke, also a New York Times Notable Book. Her stories appear regularly in The New Yorker. She lives in Cardiff, Wales, and teaches literature and creative writing at Bath Spa University.
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