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.
Praise for Matters Of Life & Death
A master at work...richly textured, filled with vividly humorous detailLee 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 jeopardisedPeter Kemp, Sunday Times
Confirms MacLaverty's status as an impressive heir of Chekhov and James JoycePeter 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 compositionIrish Independent
His insights into the female mind are uniqueJackie McGlone, Scotland on Sunday
I have not read anything as good for a long timeLiterary Review
MacLaverty has never written more powerfully or with greater authorial gripTom 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 despairSunday Telegraph
MacLaverty's stories don't lack drama, but their effect is subtle and stealthy: they creep up on youLudovic 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'ConnorAnne Enright, Guardian
This is a fine collection of short stories, sometimes brutal and shocking, but written with a sort of underground tendernessThe Times
This most enticing of writers is also one of the most penetratingRosemary 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, ratherCandia McWilliams, Scottish Review of Books