Miranda France

Flower Powers

The Atmospheric Railway: New and Selected Stories


Jonathan Cape 423pp £17.99 order from our bookshop

Like Morrissey and the May Queen, Shena Mackay strews flowers wherever she goes. In these stories they run riot in neglected gardens and wilt on kitchen window sills. They wait to be painted by aspiring artists and tempt covetous neighbours. A woman looks down from her high-rise apartment at a rare bush of white holly and yearns for one sprig of it at Christmas. Another wishes she could spend all day smoking and reading detective novels in the garden. Honesty (the hardy perennial) appears in more than one flowerbed, but is hardly perennial among the human inhabitants of these stories, especially not the men.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Jane Ridley writes on Who’s In, Who’s Out: The Journals of Kenneth Rose, edited by D R Thorpe ,
    • 'Lucian Freud was never short of confidence. In the 1990s he painted a small head of an especially rich individual… ,
    • Robin Simon's review of Lucian Freud, edited by Martin Gayford and David Dawson ,
    • 'Lenin regularly communicated with his agents in Russia by postcard and Stalin sent girlfriends cards depicting ero… ,
    • RT : Could any book publishing people share with me their route into publishing roles for a sixth former I am working wi… ,
    • Donald Rayfield reviews Greetings From the Barricades: Revolutionary Postcards in Imperial Russia by Tobie Maythew ,
    • 'Citadel of the Saxons manages to turn the slim pickings of the surviving evidence into something like a consistent… ,