A master-class in the short story, from the Costa Book Award winning author of DayA. L. Kennedy’s new collection of stories show us women and men wrestling with the lives they have been given and the times spinning out around them.
Humour, fantasy, rage and despair both help and hinder individuals as they navigate their changing circumstances, their accumulating losses, their moments of comprehension and tenderness. Hoping for a quiet day at the zoo, a woman finally snaps at a white man’s racist tirade and vents years of fury; an American micro-celebrity practises lines for a chat show on which he will never appear; a woman walks out of her honeymoon suite at midnight, perhaps for good; and, in the extraordinary ‘New Mexico’, the host of a podcast reveals why she is haunted by that particular US state. Wry, caustic and unsparing in her close examination of human relationships and their failures, A. L. Kennedy sees harder than most writers – ‘Other humans are very unhappy, but try to seem glad,’ one character writes. ‘People do their best.’ In this collection of raw, brilliant, unforgettable stories, A. L. Kennedy shows – once again – why she is regarded as one of our great writers.