Winner of the Edge Hill Short Story Prize and shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize, Infidelities by Kirsty Gunn is a new collection of short stories from the author of The Big Music and The Boy and the Sea.
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This new collection of stories offers a candid peek at infidelity in all its guises. These are tales of lust, deceit, resentment and regret – and of the secrets and lies that can chip away at human relationships.
In a series of interwoven dramas, we find mothers yearning for adventure, for the exhilaration of the open road or the anonymity of the forest; fathers absent in body or mind; husbands who look the other way; complacency turned to spite and apathy turned to betrayal. At the same time Gunn pursues the glorious rush of a snap decision, the liberty of answering that siren call of a better life elsewhere.
Written with Gunn’s trademark attention to nuances of behaviour, motive and even landscape, Infidelity is a temptingly beautiful work that asks ‘What if?’ and dares to find out.
'Gunn has always been a notably original writer ... Her writing is extraordinarily controlled, rich, and melodic ... [she] has given us nothing less than a masterclass in the art of fiction.'
'This collection is a perfect, witty riposte to that casual dismissal, and a lesson in how much goes on beneath the surface of everyday life ... Gunn traces these hidden emotional topographies with insight and attentiveness to form and language which marks her previous work ... delicate, unsettling and revelatory.'
Some fine stories punctuate this volume. Its evocation of a twin yearning for both escape and "absolute arrival" - at once a going out and a coming home - leaves a more cohesive impression than many more disparate collections, and that's an achievement.
'Kirsty Gunn is, at her finest, a teasingly brilliant, intelligent talent, and Infidelities is as restless as it is true.'
'In Gunn's world, the surface is never the whole story. Terrific.'
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