Elementals: Stories of Fire and Ice

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9780099273769: Elementals: Stories of Fire and Ice

In the same delectable format as The Matisse Stories, this collection deals with betrayal and loyalty, quests and longings, loneliness and passion - the mysterious absences at the heart of the fullest lives.

A scholar pursues an elusive biographer, stumbling upon buried fragments of distant lives; a woman walks out of her previous existence and encounters an ice-blond stranger from a secretive world; a schoolgirl draws a blood-filled picture of jael; a swimming pool reveals a beauteous monster in its depths. The settings range from the heart of Provence in summer to the cold forests of Scandinavia, form chalk-strewn classrooms to herbscented hillsides, from suburban streets to rocky wilds.

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Review:

Byatt's stories simmer with a sensuality and passion which, like topiarian trees in a formal garden, are pruned and trained into cultivated shapes whilst retaining the wild scent of the orchard. In "Crocodile Tears" a woman walks away from a personal tragedy, deserting those she loves to try and reconcile herself to a death for which she feels horribly responsible. Thrown together in Nîmes with another exiled mourner, a Norwegian full of northern folktales, she ricochets between a numbed calm and a reckless urge for self-destruction. Together they begin to assemble some kind of personal solace out of fragments of European history, fiction and myth, and so come to terms with their guilt. "A Lamia in the Cevennes" is also set in France, where another isolated English exile struggles for self-knowledge amid the shards of history and folktale. "Cold" is itself a kind of latter-day fairy story of ice princesses and sighing suitors. These are stories steeped in light and colour, full of glowing landscapes and sensuous delights. Their intricately woven skeins of literary allusion and keenly observed locations bewitch the reader. Yet the figures in Byatt's landscapes seem powerless to derive pleasure or solace from their surroundings, picking their lonely way through the brilliance, carrying with them burdens of painful memories they cannot shake off. -- Lisa Jardine

Review:

"Rich physical details, lush sensual descriptions of people and places...Byatt's engaging message is that art, curiosity and stories and save us. Now read on" (Michèle Roberts Independent on Sunday)

"Byatt weaves myth and art into bewitching fables...an astonishing display of imagination. The whole collection has a kaleidoscopic beauty" (Mark Sanderson Time Out)

"Drenched in colour, spangled with optical effects, the yarns and parables in Elementals pay rapt attention to a world of light" (Boyd Tonkin Independent)

""Cold", the story at the centre of Elementals is entirely fabulous...Its tenor is voluptuous and melancholy, like that of Oscar Wilde's fairy stories, with some of the erotic edge of Angela Carter's...These stories are full of colour and light" (Lucy Hughes-Hallett Sunday Times)

"In a sparkling year for short stories, A.S. Byatt takes all the prizes...A wonderful series of reflections on the harsh realities of life (loneliness, death and betrayal) overlaid with a goassamer-light cloak of passion, mystery and ancient magic" (Carolyn Hart Marie Claire)

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 214 x 149 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the same delectable format as The Matisse Stories, this collection deals with betrayal and loyalty, quests and longings, loneliness and passion - the mysterious absences at the heart of the fullest lives. A scholar pursues an elusive biographer, stumbling upon buried fragments of distant lives; a woman walks out of her previous existence and encounters an ice-blond stranger from a secretive world; a schoolgirl draws a blood-filled picture of jael; a swimming pool reveals a beauteous monster in its depths. The settings range from the heart of Provence in summer to the cold forests of Scandinavia, form chalk-strewn classrooms to herbscented hillsides, from suburban streets to rocky wilds. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099273769

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A. S. Byatt
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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 214 x 149 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the same delectable format as The Matisse Stories, this collection deals with betrayal and loyalty, quests and longings, loneliness and passion - the mysterious absences at the heart of the fullest lives. A scholar pursues an elusive biographer, stumbling upon buried fragments of distant lives; a woman walks out of her previous existence and encounters an ice-blond stranger from a secretive world; a schoolgirl draws a blood-filled picture of jael; a swimming pool reveals a beauteous monster in its depths. The settings range from the heart of Provence in summer to the cold forests of Scandinavia, form chalk-strewn classrooms to herbscented hillsides, from suburban streets to rocky wilds. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099273769

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Book Description 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 130mm x 198mm x 15mm. Paperback. In the same delectable format as the MATISSE STORIES and THE DJINN IN THE NIGHTINGALE'S EYE, this new collection deals with betrayal and loyalty, quests and longings, loneliness and passio.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 240 pages. 0.200. Bookseller Inventory # 9780099273769

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; In the same delectable format as The Matisse Stories, this collection deals with betrayal and loyalty, quests and longings, loneliness and passion - the mysterious absences at the heart of the fullest lives. A scholar pursues an elusive biographer, stumbling upon buried fragments of distant lives; a. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780099273769_rkm

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Book Description Vintage Publishing. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Elementals: Stories of Fire and Ice, A. S. Byatt, In the same delectable format as The Matisse Stories, this collection deals with betrayal and loyalty, quests and longings, loneliness and passion - the mysterious absences at the heart of the fullest lives. A scholar pursues an elusive biographer, stumbling upon buried fragments of distant lives; a woman walks out of her previous existence and encounters an ice-blond stranger from a secretive world; a schoolgirl draws a blood-filled picture of jael; a swimming pool reveals a beauteous monster in its depths. The settings range from the heart of Provence in summer to the cold forests of Scandinavia, form chalk-strewn classrooms to herbscented hillsides, from suburban streets to rocky wilds. Bookseller Inventory # B9780099273769

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