Matters of Life & Death: And Other Stories

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Jonathan Cape, 2006 - Short stories, Irish - 231 pages
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The finest short story collection yet from a contemporary master of the form.

A new book of stories from Bernard MacLaverty is a cause for celebration, butMatters of Life and Deathis — without question — the finest collection yet from a contemporary master of the form.

Beginning with the sudden, nauseating terror of a family caught up in an explosion of shocking sectarian violence and ending with the white-out of an Iowa blizzard and a different kind of fear: the fear of displacement, erasure, of losing your way — and yourself — very far from home,Matters of Life and Deathis a book about bonds and connections, made and broken, secret and known. In the extraordinary long story, ‘Up the Coast’, a landscape painter discovers a place that makes her feel whole, finally, only to have that communion cruelly shattered by an arbitrary act of aggression — an act that will resonate through her work and her life from that moment on.

Vivid, beautifully controlled and written with effortless skill and empathy, these stories are object lessons in the art of short fiction: the author’s perfect eye and ear attending to every detail, every nuance of idiom and character, to remake the world for us, here on the page.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Eleven new stories from MacLaverty (The Anatomy School, 2002, etc.) reveal the Irish-born, Glasgow-resident writer's uncanny knack for elucidating character with telling phrases and homely details.The ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - SeanLong - LibraryThing

I finished Bernard MacLaverty's slim volume of 11 short stories, Matters of Life and Death and came away awestruck. As the title implies, it's about how we live with death, despite of which there is ... Read full review


On the Roundabout
Matters of Life Death i
A Belfast Memory

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About the author (2006)

Bernard MacLaverty lives in Glasgow. He has written four collections of stories and four novels, including Grace Notes which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and won the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year Award. He has written versions of his fiction for other media - radio plays, television plays, screenplays - and wrote and directed the short film Bye Child which recently won a BAFTA award.

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