Subtitled Hidden Lives of Love, Madness, Murder, Loss and Deception, this new collection by Catherine Eisner traces often with darkest black humour the misadventures and behavioural tics of women driven by bizarre and sometimes criminal compulsions. An asexual niece becomes the love interest of her erotica-collecting uncle; the mistress of an army Intelligence Officer assumes the modus operandi of a spy to outwit her lover; a cat-obsessed wife of a commodities broker is suckered into a human-trafficking scam in Hong Kong; an eighteen-year-old governess becomes a suspect in a notorious case of serial murder and begins to harbour suspicions about the budding sociopath in her charge, a sinister nine-year-old boy. These are tales that probe the intimate lives and crimes of unreliable narrators to prompt disturbing confidences told in voices from the sidelines that we wouldn’t normally hear. ‘Extraordinary writing. Mesmeric reading.’ Ambit magazine.
‘I've long been an admirer of Catherine Eisner's piquant and highly original fictions in the literary journal, 'Ambit', and of her singularly rich pictorial and sensuous prose (she's an academically trained painter, I understand). Here at last she is given a very much broader canvas for her character studies of women at the end of their tether, though it's the minute detail of their dysfunctional, drug-dependant (and even criminal) lives I admire so much.’ —Johanna Behrendt
‘entertaining and finely spiced …’ —Times Literary Supplement
‘Extraordinary writing. Mesmeric reading.’ —Ambit magazine
SynopsisWinner of the 2013 Saboteur Award for Best Short Story CollectionWho are the stars of these brief lives? A boy who steals a trundlewheel. An astronaut. A betrayed wife. A...
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