Ten women, all called Claire, are tangled up in complex power dynamics with their families, friends and lovers. Though all are different ages, and leading different lives, each is haunted by the difficulty of living on her own terms, and by her capacity to harm and be harmed. Claire is a teenaged babysitter left alone with a strange little girl and her imaginary friend. She is a woman trying to escape her elderly mother by employing an android carer. Claire is a young TV journalist wrecking her first big interview. Claire’s boyfriend discovers more than he bargains for when he begins to read her diary. And no matter her age or background, Claire is living in the shadow of a monstrous mother.
The quarter century or so before the outbreak of the First World War saw an extraordinary boom in the popularity and quality of short stories in Britain. Fuelled by a large new magazine readership and vigorous competition to acquire new stories and develop the careers of some of our greatest writers, these years were ones where the normal rule-of-thumb (novels sell, short stories don’t) was inverted.This was the era of Sherlock Holmes, of Kipling’s most famous stories, of M. R. James, Katherine Mansfield and Joyce’s ‘Dubliners’.
FICTIONS is perhaps the single most mysterious and extraordinary collection of short stories written this century. Influenced by writers as disparate as Lewis Carroll, Stevenson and Cervantes, Borges is nethertheless a complete original who can turn dry logical puzzles in to enchanting fables.
Roald Dahl was a master of macabre comedy, as well as being one of the greatest children’s writers of the 20th century. This collection brings together all of his short stories, published in chronological order.