Shena Mackay is - as this collection of short stories confirms - a national treasure. Funny and sympathetic, she writes of forgotten poets and faded celebs, her magpie eye seizing delightedly on the tinsel and tat of lives that have passed their peak. Comic gems abound . . . the delight that they offer is, like Mackay's writing, continually fresh
A collection of exquisitely observed stories . . . Mackay will introduce us to the apparently trifling thoughts of a host of solitary characters and show us, with wonderful imaginative power, interior lives that are expansive, wondrous and tender. And even when her subjects are sad, the great power of her noticing, and her frequently piercing prose, transforms them into something vibrant and tender: her worlds are illuminated by glistening colours, busy wildlife, tactile skies, sibilant seas and responsive flowers. Mackay sees life in excruciatingly vigorous detail. Hers are lands in which it can feel as if everything is in bloom
Shena Mackay's radiant short stories are skewering, funny and utterly original. Dancing on the Outskirts, a selection drawn from more than five decades of writing, was a high point of the year
Mackay's new collection of short stories showcases her genius for building comedy from terseness and compression . . . her precise, unsentimental images, integral to her stories' themes, sum up entire lives . . . A triumph!