The stories in The Manet Girl explore sexual relations – from both male and female points of view – in the present, but sometimes with a backdrop of several decades. Stories of desire and confusion – other men and other women – sit alongside stories of art – galleries, studios, allusions to painters – which gets in the way as least as often as it illuminates. Choices are made, in the knowledge that distractions may be the most important things of all.
‘Some of the tightest, cleanest writing I have seen in a long time ... This is a little marvel of a novella. It’s funny, clever, illuminating, deeply kind-hearted, and doesn’t outstay its welcome. It’s not self-indulgent: things happen in it, surprising things, like in an old-fashioned novel, yet it’s perfectly contemporary; and every word has been chosen with subtle care.’ —Nicholas Lezard on 24 for 3
‘Ingeniously observed, clever, elliptical and funny. It’s like the best moments from a novel – minus the padding.’ —Geoff Dyer on Days and Nights in W12
‘Much cooler and funnier than Sebald’s baroque and melancholy meditations on place, Days and Nights in W12 lies somewhere between Walter Benjamin’s musings on Paris and Berlin and the wonderfully crazy mini-monologues that make up Thomas Bernhard’s The Voice Imitator. There is nothing else like it in English.’ —Gabriel Josipovici on Days and Nights in W12