The Short Story Bundle includes Brandon Taylor’s Filthy Animals, Mariana Enriquez’s The Dangers of Smoking in Bed and Kevin Barry’s That Old Country Music.
In the series of linked stories at the heart of Filthy Animals, a young man tentatively engages with the world again. Recently discharged from hospital, Lionel meets two dance students at a party. Charles and Sophie’s relationship is difficult to read but Lionel is drawn to them both. As he navigates their sexually fraught encounters he is forced to weigh his vulnerabilities against his loneliness – and to consider his return to life. Elsewhere, a little girl runs wild to the consternation of her childminder; unspoken frictions among a group of teenagers come to a vicious head on a winter night; and a woman dreads a first date only to find that something has cracked open. What connects these stories is the tension between the surface of things and the intensity of our inner worlds. With exquisite empathy, Brandon Taylor shows that though violence hovers at the edge of many encounters, so too does tenderness and love.
Welcome to Buenos Aires, a city thrumming with murderous intentions and morbid desires, where missing children come back from the dead and unearthed bones carry terrible curses. Mariana Enriquez’s brilliant, unsettling tales of revenge, witchcraft, fetishes, disappearances and urban madness spill over with women and girls whose dark inclinations will lead them over the edge.
In This Old Country Music we encounter a ragbag of west of Ireland characters, many on the cusp between love and catastrophe, heartbreak and epiphany, resignation and hope. These stories affirm Kevin Barry as one of the world’s most accomplished and gifted writers, and show an Ireland in a condition of great flux but also as a place where older rhythms, and an older magic, somehow persist.
The book bundle comes beautifully wrapped in brown craft paper and a green Daunt Books ribbon, making it a perfect gift.