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A new book of stories from Bernard MacLaverty is a cause for celebration, but Matters of Life and Death is more than that, as it is - without question - the finest collection yet from a contemporary master of the form.
Beginning with the sudden, nauseating terror of a family caught up in an explosion of shocking sectarian violence and ending with the white-out of an Iowa blizzard and a different kind of fear: the fear of displacement, erasure, of losing your way - and yourself - very far from home, Matters of Life and Death is a book about bonds and connections, made and broken, secret and known. In the extraordinary long story, 'Up the Coast', a landscape painter discovers a place that makes her feel whole, finally, only to have that communion cruelly shattered by an arbitrary act of aggression - an act that will resonate through her work and her life from that moment on.
Vivid, beautifully controlled and written with effortless skill and empathy, these stories are object lessons in the art of short fiction: the author's perfect eye and ear attending to every detail, every nuance of idiom and character, to remake the world for us, here on the page.
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"This stupendous new book - crucial, shattering sentences – that express, modestly, monumentally the achievement of this extraordinary writer" -- Scottish Review of Books, Candia McWilliam
"exceptional, beautiful collection." -- Sunday Telegraph, Anne Chisholm
"his insights into the female mind are unique" -- Scotland on Sunday, Jackie McGlone interviews Bernard MacLaverty
"masterly control of pace and structure, pitch –perfect capturing of voice, characterization that has spot-on credibility..." -- Sunday Times rvd by Peter Kemp
'this most enticing of writers is also one of the most penetrating’ -- Herald, Rosemary Goring
Books of the Year. Chosen by Anne Donovan
-- The Sunday Herald
Like all the best short story writers, Bernard MacLaverty writes quietly, about modest people living ordinary lives. -- The Sunday Telegraph by Anne Chisholme
MacLaverty writes with a light incidental touch: these feel less like stories than snapshots into lives already known’. -- Metro Thursday
‘This is a fine collection of short stories, sometimes brutal and shocking, but written with a sort of underground tenderness.’ -- Times (Saturday)
‘You really must read’ -- Sunday Times
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Book Description Jonathan Cape, 2006. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0224077856
Book Description Jonathan Cape, 2006. Hardcover. Condition: New. First Edition - may be Reissue. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 0224077856n