Synopses & Reviews
Audacious, original, clever, poignant -- these are just a few words that describe the writing of Nicola Barker, a talented, award-winning author whose work brings to mind Martin Amis, Julian Barnes, and Maragaret Atwood. Now nineteen of her finest short stories have been complied into one brilliant, delightful readable volume.
It takes young Carrie twenty-one years and a chance meeting with an eighty-three-year-old widow to realize she fell victim to her husband's "Three Button Trick." The main character in "Wesley" must work through his troubled childhood in a series of episodes involving masses of eels, an imaginary friend named Joy, and an unmentionable incident with an emu-owl. From erotic encounters behind clothing racks to a kleptomaniac with his organs on the wrong side, this daring and gifted writer never fails to surprise us, entertain us, and make us think.
"The high strangeness quotient here means that these tales aren't for everyone. But those with a taste for odd, haunting characters, unsettling incidents, and a deadpan, savage sense of humor, will likely find them uniquely stirring." Kirkus Reviews
"Nicola Barker is an excellent writer....Her vision is unique, funny, dark, cute, sarcastic, and clever." Alain de Botton, author of How Proust Can Change Your Life
"Barker's wit and creativity are definitely out of the ordinary and will be highly appealing to some, though they may be an acquired taste." Library Journal
About the Author
Nicola Barker is one of Britain's most original and exciting literary talents. She is the author of two short-story collections: Love Your Enemies [winner of the David Higham Prize and the Macmillan Silver Pen Award] and Heading Inland [winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize]. Her previous novels are Reversed Forecast, Small Holdings, Wide Open Behindlings and Clear, the last of which was long-listed for the 2005 Booker Prize. Her work is translated into twenty languages, and in 2000, she won the IMPAC Award for Wide Open. In 2003, Nicola Barker was named a Granta Best of British Novelist. She lives in London.