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  • Published: 1 June 2011
  • ISBN: 9781409016632
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 240

Matters Of Life & Death




An exquisite story collection yet from a contemporary master of the form.

Any book of stories from Bernard MacLaverty is a cause for celebration, but Matters of Life and Death is more than that, as it is - without question - one of the finest contemporary examples of the short story as a genre.

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, Matters of Life and Death is a book about bonds and connections, made and broken, secret and known. Vivid, beautifully controlled and written with effortless skill and empathy, these stories are object lessons in the art of short fiction.

  • Published: 1 June 2011
  • ISBN: 9781409016632
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 240

About the author

Bernard MacLaverty

Bernard MacLaverty lives in Glasgow. He has written five collections of stories and four other 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 and television plays, screenplays and libretti.

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Praise for Matters Of Life & Death

A master at work...richly textured, filled with vividly humorous detail

Lee Langley, Daily Mail

A masterly control of pace and structure, pitch-perfect capturing of voice, characterisation that has spot on credibility, human pleasure in life's satisfactions shadowed by awareness of the ways in which they can be jeopardised

Peter Kemp, Sunday Times

Confirms MacLaverty's status as an impressive heir of Chekhov and James Joyce

Peter Kemp, Sunday Times

Eleven exquisite examples of the genre... MacLaverty writes with consumamte skill... This is a book to cherish and one to read and re-read with pleasure in the skilful craft of its composition

Irish Independent

His insights into the female mind are unique

Jackie McGlone, Scotland on Sunday

I have not read anything as good for a long time

Literary Review

MacLaverty has never written more powerfully or with greater authorial grip

Tom Adair, Scotsman

MacLaverty is an exhilarating, tender, humorous wirter... who can set a scene and create a character with Chekhovian delicacy and economy... He reminds us that although life is a dangerous, painful business, we should never despair

Sunday Telegraph

MacLaverty's stories don't lack drama, but their effect is subtle and stealthy: they creep up on you

Ludovic Hunter-Tilney, Financial Times

These are stories in the easiest and most pleasurable sense of the word. MacLaverty's work is in a line from Chekhov, via Frank O'Connor

Anne Enright, Guardian

This is a fine collection of short stories, sometimes brutal and shocking, but written with a sort of underground tenderness

The Times

This most enticing of writers is also one of the most penetrating

Rosemary Goring, Herald

This stupendous new book - crucial, shattering sentences - that express, modestly, monumentally the achievement of this extraordinary writer. He is in behind your eyes before you feel his thinking knife ...Matters of Life and Death is a great book. The explicit presiding literary presence is Chekhov. Not reached nor striven for, innate, rather

Candia McWilliams, Scottish Review of Books

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