One of my favourite books, even though I don’t think all the stories in it work. I’ve just read it for the third time, and I’m still as taken with these observations of ordinary lives as I was when I first read it in 1990. Arguments, seductions, bravado, dreams, epiphanies and failures – they’re all treated with sympathy, delicacy and understanding. They’re like little snapshots of emotion – hardly any story is more than 10 pages – and the best of them stick in your mind forever.
My favourites: Performance, Death of a Spinster and Tig.