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Typically we lie to each other four times a day and the commonest lie told is, ‘I’m fine.’ The characters in Hot Kitchen Snow go one step further: they lie to themselves.
This collection explores the gap between how others see us and how we see ourselves. Teenage Euan is guest of honour at a mystery funeral; door-to-door dog-food seller Greg sets out to find the girl whose life he once saved, to lessen his sense of failure.
The tiny everyday decisions that account for some of life’s biggest developments are charted here, often represented by a charged scrap from nature: a fall of snow from a skylight reminds a city banker of everything he lacks in ‘Hot Kitchen Snow’, and in ‘Odissi Dancing’, scarlet chrysanthemums sewn into a fat college administrator’s hair assure her of what she never knew she had. Here the bad do good and the pious wreak havoc. No one is as they seem or as they think they are.
‘Susannah Rickards conjures with the peculiar truths of different human lives, and creates stories which are wry, compassionate, moving and often very funny.’ —Emma Darwin, author of Mathematics of Love and A Secret Alchemy
‘This book will entertain, provoke, shock and surprise you in all the ways a great short story collection should.’ —Tania Hershman