The Little Black Book of Stories: Summary and book reviews of The Little Black Book of Stories by A.S. Byatt, plus links to an excerpt from The Little Black Book of Stories and a biography of A.S. Byatt.
The Little Black Book of Stories
by A.S. Byatt
Hardcover: Apr 2004,
Paperback: Feb 2005,
The Booker Prize-winning author of Possession and A Whistling Woman is at her best in this dazzling collection of five new tales.
Little Black Book of Stories offers shivers along with magical thrills. Leaves rustle underfoot in a dark wood: two middle-aged women walk into a forest, as they did when they were girls, confronting their childhood fears and memories and the strange thing they sawor thought they sawso long ago. A distinguished male obstetrician and a young woman artist meet in a hospital, but they have very different ideas about body parts, birth, and death. A man meets the ghost of his living wife; a woman turns to stone. And an innocent member of an evening creative writing class turns out to have her own decided views on the best way to use "raw material."
These unforgettable stories are by turns haunting, funny, sparkling, and scary. Byatts Little Black Book adds a deliciously dark note to her skill in mixing folk and fairy tales with everyday life.
Having finished this collection of short stories it wasn't clear whether or not to recommend them at BookBrowse - but two to three weeks later they have passed one important test - despite having read quite a number of books since, these mildly sinister short stories are still playing in my mind.
The New York Times - Claire Messud
Byatt has the sheer narrative skill to raise the hairs on the back of your neck and make your pulse race. In this fine and memorable collection, she attains a near perfect balance between low and high, body and mind, the Thing and its significance.
From secret agonies to improper desires and the unthinkable, this slyly titled collection touches on more than a little bit of darkness...With an accomplished balance of quotidian detail and eloquent flights of imagination, Byatt has crafted a powerful new collection.
Library Journal - Barbara Hoffert
The prose is arresting and memorable, the images linger, getting under your skin. But as a whole these stories are also a little cold-eyed and merciless. They are indeed black, and some readers might even call them sour. For all literary collections, given Byatt's reputation, though this won't pull in as many readers as Possession.
With painstaking precision, Booker-winner Byatt (A Whistling Woman, 2002, etc.) analyzes the frailty, impermanence, and disturbing complexity of the human body....Byatt has never written better than in these exquisite stories that, together and thus arranged, assume the shape of a life from childhood through old age and death. A stunning, altogether irresistible collection.
Booklist - Donna Seaman
Byatt is commanding. Her prose is crisp and astringent. Her insights are lacerating, her approach sly, her visions searing, her wit honed, and her imagination peripatetic and larcenous, feasting on art, myth, fairy tales, and science.
A collection of short-stories from widely acclaimed author Haruki Murakami. Here are animated crows, a criminal monkey, and an iceman, as well as the dreams that shape us and the things we might wish for.
In this superb collection of short stories, Berg takes us into the times in women's lives when memories and events cohere to create a sense of wholeness, understanding, and change.
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