In the same delectable format as The Matisse Stories, this collection deals with betrayal and loyalty, quests and longings, loneliness and passion - the mysterious absences at the heart of the fullest lives.
A scholar pursues an elusive biographer, stumbling upon buried fragments of distant lives; a woman walks out of her previous existence and encounters an ice-blond stranger from a secretive world; a schoolgirl draws a blood-filled picture of jael; a swimming pool reveals a beauteous monster in its depths. The settings range from the heart of Provence in summer to the cold forests of Scandinavia, form chalk-strewn classrooms to herbscented hillsides, from suburban streets to rocky wilds.
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Rich physical details, lush sensual descriptions of people and places...Byatt's engaging message is that art, curiosity and stories and save us. Now read on - Independent on Sunday
Byatt weaves myth and art into bewitching fables...an astonishing display of imagination. The whole collection has a kaleidoscopic beauty - Time Out
Drenched in colour, spangled with optical effects, the yarns and parables in Elementals pay rapt attention to a world of light - Independent
'Cold', the story at the centre of Elementals is entirely fabulous...Its tenor is voluptuous and melancholy, like that of Oscar Wilde's fairy stories, with some of the erotic edge of Angela Carter's...These stories are full of colour and light - Sunday Times
In a sparkling year for short stories, A.S. Byatt takes all the prizes...A wonderful series of reflections on the harsh realities of life (loneliness, death and betrayal) overlaid with a goassamer-light cloak of passion, mystery and ancient magic - Marie Claire
A.S. Byatt is internationally acclaimed as a novelist, short story-writer and critic. Her books include Possession (winner of the Booker Prize in 1990), and the quartet of The Virgin in the Garden, Still Life, Babel Tower and A Whistling Woman. Educated at York and Newnham College, Cambridge, she taught at the Central School of Art and Design, and was Senior Lecturer in English at University College, London, before becoming a full-time writer in 1983. She was appointed CBE in 1990 and DBE in 1999.