> Skip to content

After just two novels, Accidents in the Home and Everything Will Be All Right, Tessa Hadley has established herself as one of the most perceptive and entertaining writers in Britain, ‘a rare and startling gem’ whose writing is ‘fantastically subtle, absorbing and insightful’ (Guardian). Sunstroke is her first collection of stories.

Everyday life crackles with the electricity sparking between men and women, between parents and children, between friends. A son confesses to his mother that he is cheating on his girlfriend; a student falls in love with her lecturer and embarks on an affair with a man in the pub who looks just like him. Young mothers pent-up in childcare dream treacherously of other possibilities; a boy becomes aware of the woman, a guest at his parents’ holiday home, who is pressing up too close against him on the beach. A daughter remembers running away from home with her mother; two sisters from a family of nine vow together to grow up free from dreary women’s problems. Hidden away inside the present, the past is explosive; the future can open unexpectedly out of any chance encounter; ordinary moments are illuminated with lightning flashes of dread or pleasure. These stories about family life are somehow undomesticated and dangerous.


Few writers give me such consistent pleasure

Zadie Smith

She has such great psychological insights into human beings, which is rare. She is one of the best fiction writers writing today

Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie

Truly absorbing... a masterful yet understated read... More please

Sunday Express

Brilliant... Hadley's style is as discreet as good tailoring


The stories sparkle...Hadley is fascinating for the way she admits a fantasy or a missed chance can be more significant than the actual events that shape a life


Tessa Hadley excels in glimpses: those small, burning memories that we never lose and which haunt as well as remind... A wonderful collection

Brian Henigan, Herald

A wholly satisfying collection of stories...Distinguished by a dry humour and prose that often surprises but is never merely showy, Sunstroke catches life on the wing and pins it, fiercely struggling to the page

Peter Parker, Sunday Times

A brooding, real-life collection bruised by knowledge and sustained by familiar discomfort

Eileen Battersby, Irish Times

Really very sexy... she is the writer we didn't know we were waiting for, until she arrived

Anne Enright, Guardian

Hadley is a talented writer

Scotland on Sunday

In Sunstroke nothing is stable or predictable... These wonderfully elegant but rather unsettling stories may be set within the confines of the home, but they are not cosy

Clare Staunton, Time Out, Book of the Week

Absorbing and slyly revelatory

Hepzibah Anderson, Daily Mail

Read More

Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    January 15, 2008


    160 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    January 22, 2015

    Vintage Digital

    160 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Tessa Hadley

Bad Dreams and Other Stories
The Past
Clever Girl
Married Love
The London Train
The Master Bedroom
Everything Will Be All Right
Accidents In The Home


The Handmaid's Tale
To Kill A Mockingbird
Echo Burning
A Gentleman in Moscow
Best Laid Plans
Fool Me Once
The Golden House
The Girl on the Train
The Heart's Invisible Furies
Swing Time
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
Men Without Women
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
Paris For One And Other Stories
The Girls
Six Bedrooms
Cold Blood
Fifty Shades Darker
The Trip of a Lifetime