Wondrous beings and everyday monsters walk the pages of Orange Prize winner Valerie Martin's kaleidoscopic collection of stories.
Each of these twelve stories is a complete world, where ordinary lives are transformed, myths bloom into reality and the everyday is haunted by obsession and duplicity. A painter is made insufferable by success; a writer is driven to bury the evidence of his inadequacy. Metamorphosis fragments a marriage and beasts bear the consequences of human failings. Living creatures scratch out hauntings, rumours spread like fire. Fantastical beings are made flesh while mortals are engaged in a struggle that should be honourable but more often corrupts.
Lyrical and macabre, Valerie Martin's stories are wry and unexpected too. The question 'Are we animals, or are we something else?' is answered by an ancient proposition both whimsical and disturbing: we are neither and both.
VALERIE MARTIN is the author of ten novels, including The Ghost of the Mary Celeste, Mary Reilly, Italian Fever and Property, which won the Orange Prize for Fiction. She has also written three collections of short fiction and a biography of Saint Francis of Assisi, Salvation. She has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as the Kafka Prize for Mary Reilly.
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