Charles Palliser

Fear of Falling

On the Edge of the Cliff and Other Stories

By V S Pritchett

Chatto & Windus 179pp £5.95 order from our bookshop

A theme running through most of these highly accomplished stories is the way we evade the dangerous truth by means of the fictions, lies, and compromises with reality which we perpetrate in order to keep a marriage, a love affair, or a friendship going, or to preserve an image of ourselves. As fictions about the fiction-making instinct they achieve at their best – and most of them are very good – a complex but unforced ambiguity in which it becomes difficult or impossible to be sure finally who is lying or whether one character is only pretending to believe the fictions of another.

Subscribe to read the full article

University of Chicago Press

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • ‘Not everyone knows what it is to have your father’s rival’s penis inches from your nose’. Ian McEwan in a Nutshell ,
    • RT : I've got approx. 100 copies of from early 1990s-2000s to give away (most w/ covers).… ,
    • 'I Contain Multitudes is popular science writing at its best.' Wendy Moore is fascinated by a study on microbes ,
    • 'Costume of the life force? Words fail.' Germaine Greer on an ode to the condom ,
    • It's Write on Kew for the next four days. There are free copies of Literary Review about; why not dip your toe into the magazine?,
    • Which sci-fi author time-travelled to ancient Rome and lived a parallel life a persecuted Christian named Thomas? ,
    • You can pick up free copies of Literary Review at Write On Kew, which begins tomorrow. Fill your boots (with magazines).,