A new collection of stories from A. S. Byatt is always a winner, and this one takes an unexpected turn, bringing shivers as well as delights. Leaves rustle underfoot in a dark wood: two middle-aged women walk into a forest, as they did when they were girls, confronting their fears and memories and the strange thing they saw in their childhood - or thought they saw - so long ago. A distinguished obstetrician and young woman artist find they have sharply contrasting ideas about body parts, birth and death; an innocent member of an evening class harbours unexpected view on 'raw material'. The stories in this marvellous collection are by turns funny, spooky, sparkling and haunting. The Little Black Book of Stories holds its secrets, adding a dark quality to Byatt's famous skill in mixing folk and fairy tale with everyday life.
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These little stories by one of Britain's foremost grandes dames of the writing world are a delightful surprise, packing a much greater punch than many full-length novels... They are moving, thought-provoking, witty and shocking all at once - Sunday Telegraph
A cabinet of curiosities... Glitteringly beautiful. Byatt is a vivid colourist - Sunday Times
As ever, Byatt's language has the clear intensity of a poem - Daily Mail
Byatt is the grande dame of British fiction... Those acquainted with her previous work will recognise her fascination with the supernatural, as well as the erudition and attention to detail that are trademarks of her style - Financial Times
Each story resembles a novel in miniature-there is a unique, experimental feel to this engaging, unsettling collection that will not hinder the author's reputation as a literary giant - Scotland on Sunday
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.