Little Black Book of Stories by A. S. Byatt

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Synopsis

Like Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm, Isak Dinesen and Angela Carter, A. S. Byatt knows that fairy tales are for grownups. And in this ravishing collection she breathes new life into the form.

Little Black Book of Stories offers shivers along with magical thrills. Leaves rustle underfoot in a dark wood: two middle-aged women, childhood friends reunited by chance, venture into a dark forest where once, many years before, they saw–or thought they saw–something unspeakable. Another woman, recently bereaved, finds herself slowly but surely turning into stone. A coolly rational ob-gyn has his world pushed off-axis by a waiflike art student with her own ideas about the uses of the body. Spellbinding, witty, lovely, terrifying, the Little Black Book of Stories is Byatt at the height of her craft.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About A. S. Byatt

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A. S. Byatt is the author of numerous novels, including A Whistling Woman and Possession, which was awarded the Booker Prize in 1990. She has also written two novellas, published together as Angels and Insects, four previous collections of shorter works, and several works of nonfiction. Educated at Cambridge, she was a senior lecturer in English at University College London. She lives in London.
 
Published December 18, 2007 by Vintage. 290 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Little Black Book of Stories

Kirkus Reviews

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The capacity “to make familiar things look strange” strongly affects an underachieving novelist-writing teacher in “Raw Material.” The breakdown of physical and intellectual form is movingly depicted in “The Pink Ribbon,” in which a retired classics professor tends to his unreachable wife, a mad ...

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Publishers Weekly

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From secret agonies to improper desires and the unthinkable, this slyly titled collection touches on more than a little bit of darkness. Booker Prize–winning author Byatt (<EMPHASIS TYPE=ITA

May 03 2004 | Read Full Review of Little Black Book of Stories

The Guardian

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Little Black Book of Stories by AS Byatt 280pp, Chatto, £12 AS Byatt loves a good, dark, short story.

Dec 06 2003 | Read Full Review of Little Black Book of Stories

Publishers Weekly

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A lapsed Catholic gynecologist tries to rescue a starving artist in "Body Art," enacting what Byatt casts as the very obstructiveness of the Church he left behind.

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AV Club

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Like a lot of her countrymen in the dramatic and literary arts, Byatt divides the classes a little too neatly, giving her upper crust a deep sensitivity and crippling reserve, and her working classes a streak of noble vulgarity.

Jun 21 2004 | Read Full Review of Little Black Book of Stories

The Sydney Morning Herald

Byatt's Little Black Book of Stories trill a tune of a different sort?

Apr 03 2004 | Read Full Review of Little Black Book of Stories

Bookmarks Magazine

Margaria Fichtner NY Times Book Review 4 of 5 Stars "[Byatt] can’t help reminding us that she is far more erudite than most of us (for the fullest enjoyment of Little Black Book of Stories, keep volumes of Ovid and Virgil, of medieval British fairy tales and Icelandic myths, close at hand), ...

Oct 19 2009 | Read Full Review of Little Black Book of Stories

Project MUSE

Only one other story—the lead story, "A Thing in the Forest"—makes an explicit reference to a classic fairy tale, specifically to "Hansel and Gretel," in a brief analogy embedded in a tale ostensibly about two women's different choices in life, in what de Caro and Jordan would call its "endoskele...

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