* In these tales of cunning, fancy and shifting alliances, commonplace superstitions mingle effortlessly with submerged desire.
A.L. Barker dissects the unnerving emotions of everyday life with the sly humour and exquisite feel for language that prompted Auberon Waugh to declare that she 'writes like an angel and I love her'.
In this, her tenth collection of stories, she unfolds tales of cunning, fancy, and shifting alliances. Here a young boy fosters grand illusions; a wife faces broken promises; a dutiful committee woman meets a sparky old gentleman; a witch is drowned; an intruder insinuates himself into a lonely woman's holiday; and commonplace superstition mingles effortlessly with submerged desire.
Marries the deadpan timing of Kingsley Amis at his driest with a tinge of eerie nature-mysticism that brings Iris Murdoch to mind.... Hot, sparkling, exciting - Boyd Tonkin, INDEPENDENT
Almost dauntingly fresh -- glancing, mercurial, elusive. - OBSERVER
Her prose is like the botanical flower paintings at Kew: 17 washes precede the final glaze - Jane Gardam, SPECTATOR
Glancing, mercurial, elusive - Adam Mars-Jones
A.L. Barker left school at the age of sixteen and joined the BBC after the War. In 1947 she won the first-ever Somerset Maugham Prize for her debut collection of short stories, Innocents, and in 1969, her novel John Brown's Body was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. The author of eleven novels and ten collections of stories, she died in 2002.
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