The novelist, critic and biographer, Margaret Drabble is one of the major literary figures of her generation. This collection reveals her brilliance in the art of the short story, presenting her complete short fiction for the first time in a single volume.
In this collection spanning nearly four decades, love affairs, conflicts and chance encounters are played out against backdrops that range from Somerset and Dorset to Elba and Turkmenistan. In 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses', a young man at a bohemian party sets a young woman's hair on fire, for want of a more conventional introduction. In 'The Gifts of War', peace-protesting students clash with a mother buying a toy for her son, with tragic consequences. An Englishman on honeymoon has a brief but significant epiphany, finding a shared humanity with a Moroccan crowd in 'Hassan's Tower'. Their protagonists are men and women, husbands and lovers, television presenters and housewives, all subtly captured with wit and acuity.
These perceptive and finely crafted stories reveal both the pace of social change and the unchanging nature of human frailties and desires.