In Jeanette Winterson's first collection of short stories, we are confronted with characters so at odds with themselves and the world--whether our own, familiar world or one of the author's invention--that it is difficult to truly empathize with any of them.
The first story, "The 24 Hour Dog", is a lullaby of a tale compared to those that follow, yet still manages to leave behind the disconcerting notion that a human being who cannot even take responsibility for a tiny puppy has little chance of survival in the big, bad world.
From the voluptuous "The Poetics of Sex", so flush with earthy imagery and erotically charged word-play that the fever of desire rises from the page in an uncomfortable steam, to the frigidity of the "Stepford-Wife-like Newton", Winterson spins us around a breathless, off-centre world, leaving the reader dizzy and disturbed.
This challenging collection from the acclaimed author of Oranges are not the Only Fruit and Sexing the Cherry is a kaleidoscope of people and places, with some just a tad out of the reach of reality and others just within the boundaries of dreams. Yet all somehow manage to tug at the soul. --Amazon.com
"A greatly gifted and original writer...there is an exhilarating freshness and energy to this collection" (Observer
"This first book of short stories will delight her fans with their daring. Whether in a world where sleep is illegal or on an island of diamonds where the rich wear coal jewellery, Winterson is the mistress of the short story" (Jessica de Rothschild Tatler
"The quality of her writing has remained constant: precise, fluent, perfectly judged. This collection is another refinement of that art, studded with metaphors and unexpected asides" (Independent on Sunday
"The short story form was made for Jeanette Winterson...mesmerising prose poems" (The Times
"Her stories transport us into the dizzyingly fertile mind of one of Britain's most prodigiously gifted authors...breathtaking" (Scotland on Sunday