In every story in this treasure-house of a new collection Jane Gardam shakes out life and finds diamonds in its folds.
Jane Gardam has been awarded the Heywood Hill Literary Prize for a lifetime's contribution to the enjoyment of literature; has twice won a Whitbread Award and has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. She was awarded an OBE in January 2009.
I adored Jane Gardam's The Stories. She does fiction as it should be done, with confidence and insight. -- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie * Observer * One of the finest living writers in the English language -- Neel Mukherjee * New Statesman * Illuminating, unshowy and often funny, [the stories] bear comparison with those by Chekhov, Trevor and Munro and offer limitless, suitcase-friendly rereading -- Caroline Jackson * Tablet * Sharp, funny, mischeivous and often menacing, [the stories] grab you by the throat. Gardam's fiction is always much more than it at first seems. Behind a superficial ordinariness is something extraordinary. Rather like the fiction of another celebrated Jane -- Peter Stanford * Tablet * Full of wit, unexpected turns of events and splendid writing -- A. S. Byatt * Guardian * Gardam's dialogue is a constant delight . . . Every character, however silent or minor, is accorded proper attention . . . Gardam's huge and firmly controlled imagination makes everything possible, everything credible . . . Of all the glories, here, 'Telegony' is the most compelling and it demonstrates Gardam's range of genius, with powerful characters, wit, doom, detailed settings and astonishing outcomes * Literary Review * It is Jane Gardam's particular gift to be able to shine a light through these unexpected peepholes, straight into the human heart . . . marvellous * Spectator * There is little Gardam doesn't know about being in love, or any of the other vicissitudes of ordinary life . . . her funniness does not cease to sparkle, but she moves as surely as she entertains * Telegraph * Each one of these narratives - none of them afraid of looking into the great terrifying secrets of love and grief, death, ageing and faith in a mere handful of pages - make the heart race. Sly, sharp and mischievous . . . It is Gardam's gift for the ecstatic, for showing us what a place of wonders is the world and the hearts that dwell in it, that endows this collection with a dangerous and formidable energy. She gives us miracle heaped upon miracle -- Christobel Kent * Guardian * Pure delight * The Times * Gardam's narratives are sharp and disconcerting . . . intimate and confiding . . . a compelling mixture of the strange and the familiar - well-told tales in which love, death and sorrow are properly valued. These moving and diverting meditations on the past offer a simple lesson: they don't make them like that any more. This collection is very welcome. * Sunday Times * Beautifully formed short stories . . . Gardam writes with wit, harnessing an expert use of dialogue to bring her characters to life . . . written by arguably one of our greatest living writers, the moments depicted in The Stories will certainly resonate long after the last page has been turned * Daily Express * It is good, too, to be reminded that Gardam is as brilliant a short story writer as she is a novelist . . . Gardam, like Penelope Fitzgerald, knows the supreme art of what and exactly how much to leave out . . . this is a deeply, impeccably humane and pleasurable book -- Neel Mukherjee * Independent * She has the Austeneaque quality of being satisfying and disquieting, conventional and experimental . . . conversational, lucid, realist yet fantastical, she can be outrageously funny, gradually revealing her characters by what is not said, and not seen . . . one of our greatest living writers -- Amanda Craig * Independent on Sunday *