Michele Roberts' latest short story collection: 'Mud: Stories of Sex and Love' provides just what the title promises and is a wonderfully intimate and sometimes unsettling exploration of the powerful desires of women.
In this collection we see a young widow returning to Venice to stay at an hotel where she spent her honeymoon in the story 'Honeymoon Blues' which is a poignant and moving tale; in 'Tristram and Isolde' we listen to a young female describing her intense love of the man she is with, but when you get to the surprising end of this story you might need to go back and re-read it just to make sure you understand what is happening; in 'Flaneuse' we follow Polly as she walks the streets of London in her jewelled flip-flops, collecting little plugs of mud between her toes, before embarking on a very surprising adventure that involves her slipping over the edges of time; in 'Vegetarian in France' a woman takes revenge on her herbivore husband; and in 'Remembering George Sand' we become brief witnesses to Sand's liaison in Venice with her lover.
There are fourteen stories in total in this collection, and all of these stories are unusual, intriguing and original. Michele Roberts is a very perceptive writer with a sharp, but sensitive insight into women's sexual consciousness, and when you read a book by this author, you can see the colour, taste the flavour and really feel the texture of her writing. I always enjoy reading Michele Roberts and can recommend her novels and her short stories; if you have not read it yet, do consider her latest novel: Ignorance
which is a wonderful story and one I very much enjoyed.
Also recommended by this author: Daughters Of The House
; The Visitation (A Women's Press classic)
and Paper Houses: A Memoir of the 70s and Beyond