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A dozen stories: a dozen ways of looking at love, or the lack of love. Over five previous collections, A. L. Kennedy has shown herself to be a master of the short form, with a perfect way with sentences and a voice so distinct as to be instantly recognisable.

The dazzling new collection from the Costa Prize-winning author of Day and The Blue Book.

She doesn’t ever lie to him unless it’s for the best.

A husband and wife wait for a train as their relationship unspools silently around them. A woman contemplates the idea of her lover dying as she queues in a bank. An almost impossibly uncomfortably lunch culminates in a passionate kiss. In this dazzling collection of stories lies the battlefield of the heart, where characters who have suffered somehow emerge – haltingly, awkwardly – into the astonishment of intimacy.


One of the most consistently dazzling writers of her generation... Kennedy's stories are a little like love: no matter how many times they break your heart, you still come back for more. This collection proves, once again, that it is always worth it.

Katy Guest, Independent on Sunday

Kennedy is brilliantly, painfully funny about the fault-lines and disaster zones of the typical relationship

The Times

This book celebrates love like a hungry dog celebrates the corpse of a rabbit... Kennedy is, if you like, the Anti-Cartland... Magnificently bleak.

Jojo Moyes, Independent

It is Kennedy’s portrayal of the difficulty, if not seeming impossibility, of connecting with other people that makes these stories so moving… Kennedy’s disjointed, angular style and weird, displaced atmospherics really work

Lionel Shriver, Financial Times

A.L. Kennedy's masterful new collection... Stories appear to roam chaotically, like the mind, but of course they are neat, perfect messes.

Vicky Allan, Herald

The book is filled with lyrical beauty, wry humour and acute observation, imbued by a willingness to dig deep and give voice to the reader’s rawest emotions. All the Rage is an outstanding collection, full of stories to be savoured.

Ally Nichol, List

[Kennedy] is the god of her own godless world. Her prose moves in more mysterious ways than mere comprehension will allow.

Tom Adair, Scotland on Sunday

A satisfying diversity of experience and insight.

James Purdon, Literary Review

Full of moments of risk, which Kennedy's characters handle self-consciously and with care... She strings lyrical sentences together effortlessly.

Sheena Joughin, Times Literary Supplement

Beautifully crafted... It would be impossible not to admire these stories.

Cressida Connolly, Spectator

Kennedy dissects the small intimacies of inner thought and holds them palm-up, naked, there for our observation and evaluation. Her prose is typically direct, her sentences clear cut and yet capable of great tenderness.

Clare Wigfall, Observer

Full of heartache and the ways in which we hurt each other, and ourselves... Fans of Kennedy's quirky expressionism won't be disappointed.

Sunday Times

Evidence that, at her best, there’s no-one to touch Kennedy.

Neil Stewart, Civilian

Full of challenges and beauty.


This is a sure-footed and intelligently organized collection. These small pieces encompass an extensive emotional territory

Chris Power, Guardian

An arresting collection that blends poetic imagery, raw emotion and cerebral insight

Juanita Coulson, Lady

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    March 15, 2015


    224 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

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    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    March 6, 2014

    Vintage Digital

    224 pages

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