Death, ageing and deterioration menace almost every character in Margaret Atwood’s ninth collection of short stories. Yet even with all the senescence and decrepitude and retirement homes and memorial services and nostalgically recalled romances and tragically fading sexual powers on show, the principal characteristics that jump out of these acerbically memorable tales are vitality, wicked humour and Atwood’s unabatingly sprightly eye for the minutiae of male and female desire.
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