Author(s): Nicholas Shakespeare
Nicholas Shakespeare's collected stories take us across oceans and continents into the intimate lives of his characters and the dilemmas and temptations they face. The opening novella, 'Oddfellows', tells the little-known history of horrifying events that occurred on 1 January 1915 in the Australian outback town of Broken Hill, where, on the citizens' annual picnic outing, the only enemy attack to occur on Australian soil during the First World War took them by surprise. The other stories range through India, Africa, Argentina and Canada, and include a magnificent tale of civic folly which sees an unreliable young councillor from the Bolivian mining town of Oruro lose himself in the seductions of Paris while trying to commission a bronze statue of his local hero. All of them showcase Shakespeare's talent for insight and drama, and his fascination with connection and disconnection and cultural misunderstanding.
A wonderful collection of short stories taking the reader around the world: from a dramatic First World War encounter in Australia to the faded glamour of ex-pat 1960s Bombay and an epic quest beginning in 1908 Bolivia.
"One of the best English novelists of our time" -- Alan Massie Wall Street Journal "One of our best and truest novelists" The Times "Eight nuggets of pure, bold storytelling" -- Holly Kyte Sunday Telegraph "In each story Shakespeare brilliantly transports us to other places, times, cultures and communities, but for all their differentness and exotic heat and dust, in essence they are places we know only too well" -- Katie Law Evening Standard "Shakespeare captures this historical moment beautifully and in elegant prose...It's a fascinating story... skilfully told. It is also timely. Because the story Shakespeare tells resonates so deeply with current tensions it is weightier than its length might suggest." Praise for the story 'Oddfellows', The Saturday Paper
Nicholas Shakespeare was born in 1957. The son of a diplomat, much of his youth was spent in the Far East and South America. His books have been translated into 20 languages. They include The Vision of Elena Silves (winner of the Somerset Maugham Award), Snowleg, The Dancer Upstairs, Secrets of the Sea, Inheritance and Priscilla. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He currently lives in Oxford.