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The People On Privilege Hill

BBC National Short Story Award, 2008

ebook / ISBN-13: 9781405522359

Price: £8.99

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It is a wet day in Dorset, and walking to a luncheon party is Sir Edward Feathers QC, followed by two elderly friends: his scruffy neighbour and sparring partner, Veneering, and Fiscal-Smith, the meanest lawyer ever to make a fortune at the Bar. Fans of Jane Gardam’s bestselling novel, OLD FILTH, will be delighted to encounter Filth, now almost ninety, making his immaculate way to Privilege Hill, named perhaps for the Prive-Lieges who arrived with the Normans, but more probably for the village privies.

Ranging from a Victorian mansion converted into a home for unmarried mothers to a wartime hospital in the middle of the Blitz, from ghost stories to brilliant observations of love and loneliness in their various manifestations – including, in ‘Pangbourne’, a woman who falls in love with a gorilla – to reflections on the haphazard nature of intellect and memories in ‘The Last Reunion’, the stories in this collection mix Jane Gardam’s trademark sardonic wit with a delicate tenderness and a touch of the surreal.

Reviews

She does fiction as it should be done, with confidence and insight
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Observer