Hilary Mantel

Diet of Vodka and Asparagus

Dreams of Dead Women's Handbags

By Shena Mackay

William Heinemann 160 pp £10.95 order from our bookshop

There are eleven pieces in this book, and at least two of them are triumphs; perhaps to ask for any more would be greedy. London, Eastbourne, unnamed suburbs are the territory; the emotional territory is that of wilful, self-conscious eccentricity, and of loneliness – whether in a child, as in All the Pubs in Soho; in an old lady, living out her days in a seaside hotel, in Where the Carpet Ends; or of a writer, marooned in the country, in The Thirty-first of October. In these stories, inanimate objects are pregnant with malice, animals are more perceptive than humans; sometimes worms turn, or the chilly currents of waste and regret are momentarily defied.

Cardboard City is a ruthless, uncomfortable story,

Royal Shakespeare Company


Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Interesting thread by Aki there on inclusivity in publishing. (Read her tweets for full thread.),
    • RT : A conference about inclusivity in publishing is a fantastic idea, but doesn't £200 seem a short-sighted undermining of, well, inclusivity?,
    • Calling all friends of bulbous salutations & the elfin grot: lots of entries to have already come in, but my door’s still open...,
    • 'Why the hell don’t they have more fun with their money?' Patrick Leigh Fermor skewers the super-rich ,
    • When Lenin went interrailing: Catherine Merridale charts his journey in her new book ,
    • Deadline today to win a pair of tickets to The Entertainer starring Kenneth Branagh. To enter, email marketing[at] .,