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Murder In The Dark

Murder In The Dark

By the author of THE HANDMAID’S TALE and ALIAS GRACE

A beautifully bizarre assortment of short stories and prose poems. Writing on an eclectic range of subjects from ‘Bread’ and ‘Strawberries’, to ‘Fainting’ and ‘Women’s Novels’, Margaret Atwood brings her astonishing world view to the comings and goings of ordinary life. The pretentious male chef is taken down a peg, a gang of cynical five year olds concoct a poisonous brew; and knowing when to stop is of deadly importance in a game of Murder in the Dark.

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Praise for Murder in the Dark:

These vignettes glow with the usual Atwood magic of intelligence … an exhilarating performance, full of sharp pleasures for the mind -BRITISH BOOK NEWS

‘A brilliant and witty writer’ –COSMOPOLITAN

‘Direct, unpretentious, humorous’ -SUNDAY TIMES
Nothing that Meets the Eye

Nothing that Meets the Eye

By the bestselling author of The Talented Mr Ripley, Carol and Strangers on a Train

‘These tales should not be glanced at by those with even the slightest history of poor mental health . . . Highsmith’s dark humour oozes through this new collection like a particularly delicious poison’ Andrew Wilson, Independent on Sunday

This volume of stories spans almost fifty years of Highsmith’s career, allowing us to see how she evolved from a struggling freelance writer in New York to one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century.

The stories assembled in Nothing That Meets the Eye, written between 1938 and 1982, are vintage Highsmith: a gigolo-like psychopath preys on unfulfilled career women; a lonely spinster’s fragile hold on reality is tethered to the bottle; an estranged postal worker invents homicidal fantasies about his coworkers. While some stories anticipate the diabolical narratives of the Ripley novels, others possess a sweetness that forces us to see the author in a new light.

These are suspenseful, playful, taut and psychologically gripping stories, evidence of an extraordinary talent.
Once Upon a Time There Was a Traveller

Once Upon a Time There Was a Traveller

by Various
Virago Press and the Asham Award, the foremost prize for stories by women, present a collection of tales to send you to places you’ve never been before . . .

Here are tales of people who travel far and those who stay at home and dream; of strange things in suitcases; of roads that should not have been taken; of exotic cities and shabby towns. Some are running away, and some are travelling to come home.

With new stories from well-known writers, including Helen Dunmore, and an Angela Carter fable, this is a book to tuck in your backpack, your valise or to enjoy, deep in your armchair, for no one can fail to be hooked by those beguiling words: once upon a time there was a traveller . . .
Only Poet And Other Stories

Only Poet And Other Stories

A volume of Rebecca West’s short fiction. Including the novella “The Only Poet”, found amongst her papers after her death, this selection comprises unpublished work and published stories gathered from British and American journals and periodicals.
Selected Stories

Selected Stories

A brother and sister, shattered by the horrors of war, find solace in a tender, incestuous ‘marriage’. A wife, bored and rancorous, stitches a widow’s quilt. An old level-crossing keeper watches over his speechless, disfigured niece. In this magnificent selection of her stories, ranging from 1932 to 1977, Sylvia Townsend Warner casts a compassionate but piercing eye on the oddities of love. There’s the joyously farcical story of the mouse and the four-poster bed, the strange fugue of a sad woman and her doppelganger cat, the composer unexpectedly spending an afternoon ‘living for others’. And finally, there’s the skein of stories reporting on the events of Elfland, precise, witty and strange. Readers who know this author’s work will be delighted, while newcomers will find the perfect introduction to a writer of incomparable style and substance.
Slowly, Slowly in the Wind

Slowly, Slowly in the Wind

By the bestselling author of The Talented Mr Ripley, Carol and Strangers on a Train

‘Highsmith neatly dismantles the American suburban idyll, subverting the cliches of domestic bliss – nice neighbours, a child’s comforting glass of milk, and the dream of growing radishes – with macabre cruelty’ Andrew Wilson, author of, Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia Highsmith

Slowly, Slowly in the Wind brilliantly assembles many of Patricia Highsmith’s most nuanced and psychologically suspenseful works.

Each of these twelve pieces, like all great short fiction, is a crystal-clear snapshot of lives both static and full of chaos.

In ‘The Pond’ Highsmith explores the unforeseen calamities that can unalterably shatter a single woman’s life, while ‘The Network’ finds sinister loneliness and joy in the mundane yet engrossing friendships of a small community of urban dwellers.

In this enduring and disturbing collection, Highsmith evokes the gravity and horror of her characters’ surroundings with evenhanded prose and a detailed imagination.
Something Was There . . .

Something Was There . . .

by Various
The latest stunning collection of short stories, including the winning entry of the 2011 Asham Short Stories Award, which was set up 1995 to encourage and promote new writing. It is the only short story competition whose winners and runners-up are published alongside some of our best known women writers. Past collections have included specially commissioned stories by Carol Shields, Michele Roberts, Barbara Trapido, Patricia Duncker, Helen Simpson, Helen Dunmore, Deborah Moggach. Margaret Atwood and A.L. Kennedy.

This year’s theme is Ghosts and Gothic and will be judged by authors Sarah Waters and Polly Samson and Virago publisher Lennie Goodings.
Tales of Natural and Unnatural Catastrophes

Tales of Natural and Unnatural Catastrophes

By the bestselling author of The Talented Mr Ripley, Carol and Strangers on a Train

‘Master storyteller Highsmith offers an eerily up-to-date collection of modern horror tales’ Publishers Weekly

Patricia Highsmith, an American who lived most of her life in Europe, was the author of such bestselling crime novels as Strangers on a Train, and The Talented Mr. Ripley.

The stories collected here are classic Highsmith – eerie, prescient and chilling, catastrophes caused by human error and dark motives. Whether evoking the White House under siege by the homeless or a 190-year-old woman perpetually near death and dimly glowing, each tale refuses to release you from its tense grip.
The Animal Lover's Book of Beastly Murder

The Animal Lover's Book of Beastly Murder

By the bestselling author of The Talented Mr Ripley, Carol and Strangers on a Train

‘Highsmith writes the verbal equivalent of a drug – easy to consume, darkly euphoric, totally addictive . . . (She) belongs in the moody company of Dostoevsky or Angela Carter’ Time Out

Nowhere is Patricia Highsmith’s affinity for animals more apparent than in The Animal-Lover’s Book of Beastly Murder, for here she transfers the murderous thoughts and rages most associated with humans onto the animals themselves.

ou will meet, for example, in ‘In the Dead of Truffle Season’, a truffle-hunting pig who tries to whet his own appetite for a while; or Jumbo in ‘Chorus Girl’s Absolutely Final Performance’, a lonely, old circus elephant who decides she’s had enough of show business and cruel trainers for one lifetime. In this satirical reprise of Kafka, cats, dogs, and breeding rodents are no longer ordinary beings in the happy home, but actually have the power to destroy the world in which we live.
The Black House

The Black House

By the bestselling author of The Talented Mr Ripley, Carol and Strangers on a Train

‘A border zone of the macabre, the disturbing, the not-quite accidental’ New York Times Book Review

The Black House eerily evokes the warm familiarities of suburban life: the manicured lawns, the white picket fences, and the local pubs, each providing the setting for Highsmith’s chilling portraits.

Some neighbours are playing scrabble one evening when their cat drags into their house not a bird, or some other catch, but human fingers; a guest arrives at a dinner party where he is not welcome, and his hosts conspire to find and attack his Achilles heel; the crew of the Emma C rescue a beautiful girl floating unconscious in the sea and tension explodes between the men on board; a childless thirty-something couple decide to invite two elderly folk to live with them, but have they been too generous?

In this collection of Patricia Highsmith’s wonderfully unsettling short stories, people’s motives are frequently twisted and no occurrence is without a sinister underlying meaning.
The Breaking Point

The Breaking Point

FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF REBECCA

‘The apathy of Sunday lay upon the streets. Houses were closed, withdrawn.
“They don’t know,” he thought, “those people inside, how one gesture of mine, now, at this minute, might alter their world. A knock on the door, and someone answers – a woman yawning, an old man in carpet slippers, a child sent by its parents in irritation; and according to what I will, what I decide, their whole future will be decided . . . Sudden murder. Theft. Fire.” It was as simple as that.’

In this collection of suspenseful tales in which fantasies, murderous dreams and half-forgotten worlds are exposed, Daphne du Maurier explores the boundaries of reality and imagination. Her characters are caught at those moments when the delicate link between reason and emotion has been stretched to the breaking point. Often chilling, sometimes poignant, these stories display the full range of Daphne du Maurier’s considerable talent.
The Daylight And The Dust: Selected Short Stories

The Daylight And The Dust: Selected Short Stories

I’m a short story addict, both reading and writing them, and I always keep hoping for the perfect story.’ (Janet Frame to Tim Curnow, January 1984)

THE DAYLIGHT AND THE DUST is the most comprehensive selection of Janet Frame’s stories ever published, taken from the four different collections released during her lifetime and featuring many of her best stories. Written over four decades, they come from her classic prize-winning collection THE LAGOON AND OTHER STORIES, first published in 1952, right up to the volume YOU ARE NOW ENTERING THE HUMAN HEART, published in the 1980s. This new selection also includes five works that have not been collected before.

Janet Frame’s versatility dazzles. Her themes range from childhood to old age to death and beyond. Within the pages of one book the reader is transported from small town New Zealand to inner-city London, and from realism to fantasy.

This volume offers the most comprehensive collection of Janet Frame’s unique and powerful writing.
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