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BY THE AUTHOR OF THE HANDMAID’S TALE, THE TESTAMENTS AND ALIAS GRACE

‘Dark and witty tales from the gleefully inventive Margaret Atwood. Witty verve, imaginative inventiveness and verbal sizzle vivify every page’ Sunday Times

A recently widowed fantasy writer is guided through a stormy winter evening by the voice of her late husband. An elderly lady with Charles Bonnet syndrome comes to terms with the little people she keeps seeing, while a newly formed populist group gathers to burn down her retirement residence. A woman born with a genetic abnormality is mistaken for a vampire, and a crime committed long ago is revenged in the Arctic via a 1.9 billion-year-old stromatolite.

‘A
collection of nine acerbic, mischievous, gulpable short stories’ Harper’s Bazaar

‘Atwood’s prose is so sharp and sly that the effect is bracing rather than bleak’ Guardian


‘[Look at these tales] as eight icily refreshing arsenic Popsicles followed by a baked Alaska laced with anthrax, all served with impeccable style and aplomb. Enjoy!’ Ursula K. Le Guin, Financial Times

‘Atwood has characters here close to death, dead already, unwittingly doomed or – in one memorable case – freeze-dried; but her own curiosity, enthusiasm and sheer storytelling panache remain alive and kicking’ Independent

Reviews

Dark and witty tales from the gleefully inventive Margaret Atwood . Witty verve, imaginative inventiveness and verbal sizzle vivify every page
Peter Kemp, Sunday Times
Atwood illuminates heavy themes with a lightness of touch, giving insight not only into the nature of stone but the trials and tribulations of flesh and blood
Anita Sethi, Observer
Atwood is as puckish as ever with these 'nine wicked tales' . . . 'Lusus Naturae' is a deliciously gothic treat in which the language is so rich you could lick it and 'The Freeze-Dried Groom' is a spine-tingling mini-thriller
Marcus Field, Independent
This collection of short stories is charged with a delightful cheekiness . Atwood has characters here close to death, dead already, unwittingly doomed or - in one memorable case - freeze-dried; but her own curiosity, enthusiasm and sheer storytelling panache remain alive and kicking. Anyone keen to consign literary fiction to an early grave will have to deal with her first
Independent
Atwood illuminates heavy themes with a lightness of touch, giving insight not only into the nature of stone but the trials and tribulations of flesh and blood
Anita Sethi, Observer
Dark and witty tales from the gleefully inventive Margaret Atwood . Witty verve, imaginative inventiveness and verbal sizzle vivify every page
Peter Kemp, Sunday Times
This collection of short stories is charged with a delightful cheekiness . Atwood has characters here close to death, dead already, unwittingly doomed or - in one memorable case - freeze-dried; but her own curiosity, enthusiasm and sheer storytelling panache remain alive and kicking. Anyone keen to consign literary fiction to an early grave will have to deal with her first
Independent
Atwood is as puckish as ever with these 'nine wicked tales' . . . 'Lusus Naturae' is a deliciously gothic treat in which the language is so rich you could lick it and 'The Freeze-Dried Groom' is a spine-tingling mini-thriller
Marcus Field, Independent
Realism and ridiculousness, play and deadly seriousness, are held in fine balance throughout. This long view throughout the collection is entirely unsparing, both of the vanished past and the vanishing present, but Atwood's prose is so sharp and sly that the effect is bracing rather than bleak
Guardian
Realism and ridiculousness, play and deadly seriousness, are held in fine balance throughout. This long view throughout the collection is entirely unsparing, both of the vanished past and the vanishing present, but Atwood's prose is so sharp and sly that the effect is bracing rather than bleak
Guardian
Astonishing . . . Powerful . . . I loved these strange, sharp and wild stories
Meg Wolitzer, NPR
Danc[es] over the dark swamps of Horror on the wings of satirical wit. . . . Look at these tales . . . as eight icily refreshing arsenic Popsicles followed by a baked Alaska laced with anthrax, all served with impeccable style and aplomb. Enjoy!
Ursula K. Le Guin, Financial Times