This collection of nine short stories contains some of A. L. Barker's most powerful and disquieting fiction. "Noon", about a middle-aged man's unacknowledged trysts with a young girl, memorably expresses the ambivalence and repression which haunts ordinary and respectable lives against the backdrop of a Mediterranean package-holiday hotel; in "Glory, Glory Allelujah" an aging brother and sister attempt to exorcise the imprisoned hopelessness of their lives in a ritual bonfire in memory of their dead mother; and with stories such as "Almost an International Incident" and "Monstra Deliciosa" the author attunes her command of humour and finely wrought levity to display a writing sensibility that alternates between despair and sanguinity to unique, skilful and moving effect. 'She is formidable, and from a bare corner of human relations gathers a rich harvest' - Adam Mars-Jones. 'Her glancing, allusive writing carries one along easily, darting from invention to invention ...Underneath there is a firm, ordering imagination and the poise of perfect pitch' - "New Statesman".
'It would be hard to find anyone who chooses words more exactly or constructs with more precision' - Penelope Fitzgerald.