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Madame Zero

Madame Zero Book Cover Madame Zero
Sarah Hall
July 25, 2017

From one of the most accomplished British writers working today, the Man Booker Prize-shortlisted author of The Wolf Border, comes a unique and arresting collection of short fiction that is both disturbing and dazzling. Sarah Hall has been hailed as "one of the most significant and exciting of Britain’s young novelists" (The Guardian), a writer whose "intelligence and ambition are thrilling to behold" (BookForum). Her work has been acclaimed as "amazing . . . terrific and original" (Washington Post). In this collection of nine works of short fiction, she uses her piercing insight to plumb the depth of the female experience and the human soul. A husband’s wife transforms into a vulpine in "Mrs. Fox," winner of the BBC Short Story Prize. In "Case Study 2, " A social worker struggles with a foster child raised in a commune. A new mother runs into an old lover in "Luxury Hour." In incandescent prose, full of rich observations and striking clarity, Hall has composed nine wholly original pieces—works of fiction that will resonate long after the final page is turned.

My review:

This is a short story collection, which is not normally in my wheel house, but I like to read them once in a while to change things up a bit. This is one that I was sent by the publisher, so it was the perfect opportunity to give it a go. As with most short story collections, there are some that I loved, and some that I didn't like (or didn't get the point of). The one constant though was the writing. Each story, whether I liked it or not, was beautifully written, and the words flowed across the page. Partly because of the lovely language, and also the short page count, this is a book that can easily be devoured in a couple sittings. The stories cover a wide range of subjects, from a social worker dealing with a child who grew up in a commune (one of my favorites), to a woman who transforms into a fox (which I didn't like, and didn't get?). While I'm not sure how the title relates to the book content, I do need to give a shout out to this glorious cover!

A short story collection with stellar writing! Because of the wide variety of stories, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

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