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.
The Little Black Book of Stories
There were once two little girls who saw, or believed they saw, a thing in a forest. The two little girls were evacuees, who had been sent away from the city by train, with a large number of other children. They all had their names attached to their coats with safety-pins, and they carried little bags or satchels, and the regulation gas-mask. They wore knitted scarves and bonnets or caps, and many had knitted gloves attached to long tapes which ran along their sleeves, inside their coats, and over their shoulders and out, so that they could leave their ten woollen fingers dangling, like a spare pair of hands, like a scarecrow. They all had bare legs and scuffed shoes and wrinkled socks. Most had wounds on their knees in varying stages of freshness and scabbiness. They were at the age when children fall often and their knees were unprotected. With their suitcases, some of which were almost too big to carry, and their other impedimenta, a doll, ...
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.
If you liked The Little Black Book of Stories, try these:
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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