Phew! That was a long title and the first story in this remarkable debut collection by Jessie Greengrass. The title story is one of the strongest and details a sailor’s repeated visits to a remote Arctic island, trapping and killing the Great Auk, a type of penguin that was hunted to extinction in the mid-nineteenth century. Like many of the storie...

K J Orr’s short story credentials are impressive, she’s been published in many literary magazines I admire and won the BBC Short Story Prize in 2016. This is her first collection of short stories but I doubt it will be her last.

She is a writer of skill and confidence, deftly handling her subjects with lightness and precision: they vary from Russian...

This is in many ways the kind of book I would never read: I don’t like books about war. But it also has something which appeals to me greatly: the perspective of a young woman making her way in the world, in love and life. She happens to be doing so during the Führer’s visit to Frankfurt in 1936. Swap out the war for alcoholism and Frankfurt for Pa...

There’s a short story in this collection, Smote (or When I Find I Cannot Kiss You In Front Of A Print By Bridget Riley) that is so brilliant, so filled with emotion and wit and feeling that when I finished it I had to put the book down and not read anything else that day to let its full effect sink in.

Eley Williams clearly loves words and language,...

About 50 pages into Lincoln in the Bardo something clicked, all the different voices came together along with the historical snippets and suddenly I couldn’t put this book down. I was waking up first thing to read it, seeking out seats on the train for extra reading time and trying to eat dinner one handed so I could continue.

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