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Christopher Reid’s new collection is a quartet of works for voice, opening with the brisk and brightly coloured monologue of Professor Winterthorn – recently widowed, soon to be retired, who decides on impulse to attend a conference (on ‘Nonsense and the Pursuit of Futility as strategies…’) in California. He is a mordant observer, alert to the anomie of modern displacement – taxis, lifts, airports, lounges, hotel rooms – whose thin air seems at one with the loose change of widowerhood, the having nowhere really to go. But adventure lies ahead, and sunshine, and Winterthorn is debonair if undeceived about the deceptions of grief. His strange ride ends on a note of recovery, with the world suddenly in focus again and brimming before him.
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