Margaret Atwood - Stone Mattress - Little, Brown Book Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9780349006543
    • Publication date:24 Sep 2015

Stone Mattress

Nine Wicked Tales

By Margaret Atwood

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

A collection of highly imaginative short pieces that speak to our times with deadly accuracy.

By the author of The Handmaid's Tale and Alias Grace

A recently widowed fantasy writer is guided through a stormy winter evening by the voice of her late husband. An elderly lady with Charles Bonnet syndrome comes to terms with the little people she keeps seeing, while a newly formed populist group gathers to burn down her retirement residence. A woman born with a genetic abnormality is mistaken for a vampire, and a crime committed long ago is revenged in the Arctic via a 1.9 billion-year-old stromatolite.

In these nine tales, Margaret Atwood ventures into the shadowland earlier explored by fabulists and concoctors of dark yarns such as Robert Louis Stevenson, Daphne du Maurier and Arthur Conan Doyle - and also by herself, in her award-winning novel Alias Grace. In Stone Mattress, Margaret Atwood is at the top of her darkly humorous and seriously playful game.

Biographical Notes

Margaret Atwood is the author of more than forty works, including fiction, poetry and critical essays, and her books have been published in over thirty-five countries. She has won many literary awards and prizes.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780349006536
  • Publication date: 24 Sep 2015
  • Page count: 320
  • Imprint: Virago
Dark and witty tales from the gleefully inventive Margaret Atwood . Witty verve, imaginative inventiveness and verbal sizzle vivify every page — Peter Kemp, Sunday Times
Atwood illuminates heavy themes with a lightness of touch, giving insight not only into the nature of stone but the trials and tribulations of flesh and blood — Anita Sethi, Observer
This collection of short stories is charged with a delightful cheekiness . Atwood has characters here close to death, dead already, unwittingly doomed or - in one memorable case - freeze-dried; but her own curiosity, enthusiasm and sheer storytelling panache remain alive and kicking. Anyone keen to consign literary fiction to an early grave will have to deal with her first — Independent
Realism and ridiculousness, play and deadly seriousness, are held in fine balance throughout. This long view throughout the collection is entirely unsparing, both of the vanished past and the vanishing present, but Atwood's prose is so sharp and sly that the effect is bracing rather than bleak — Guardian
Atwood is as puckish as ever with these 'nine wicked tales' . . . 'Lusus Naturae' is a deliciously gothic treat in which the language is so rich you could lick it and 'The Freeze-Dried Groom' is a spine-tingling mini-thriller — Marcus Field, Independent
Sphere

The Zanzibar Wife

Deborah Rodriguez
Authors:
Deborah Rodriguez

Oman. The ancient land of frankincense, wind-swept deserts, craggy mountaintops and turquoise seas. Into this magical nation come three remarkable women, each facing a crossroad in her life. Rachel, an American war photographer, who is struggling to shed the trauma of her career. Now she is headed to Oman to cover quite a different story - for a glossy travel magazine. Ariana Khan, a bubbly English woman who has rashly volunteered as Rachel's 'fixer', a job she's never heard of in a country she knows nothing about. And Miza, a young woman living far from her beloved homeland of Zanzibar. As the second wife of Tariq, she remains a secret from his terrifying 'other' wife, Maryam. Until the day that Tariq fails to come home...As the three women journey together across this extraordinary land, they quickly learn that, in Oman, things aren't always what they appear to be...The Zanzibar Wife is a bewitching story of clashing cultures and conflicting beliefs, of secrets and revelations, of mystery and magic, by the author of the beloved international bestseller The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul.'As if Maeve Binchy had written 'The Kite Runner' - Kirkus Reviews

Blackfriars

The Afterlives

Thomas Pierce
Authors:
Thomas Pierce
Back Bay

The Rules of Love & Grammar

Mary Simses
Authors:
Mary Simses
Sphere

The Good Mother

Kim Lock
Authors:
Kim Lock
Little, Brown US

Shining Sea

Anne Korkeakivi
Authors:
Anne Korkeakivi

Beginning with forty-three-year-old Michael Gannon's fatal heart attack, SHINING SEA draws us into the turbulent lives of his widow and offspring. In the wake of their loss, the Gannon clan find themselves charting paths they never anticipated, for decades to come. Korkeakivi transports the reader through the years: from WWII to the present, from California to Woodstock's heyday, and from London's gritty nightlife in the eighties to the rough seas of the Inner Hebrides. Epic, tender, and beautifully rendered, SHINING SEA is an American family story-about the ripple effects of war, the passing down of memory, and the ways our heroes can both lead us astray--and keep us afloat.

Sphere

Two by Two

Nicholas Sparks
Authors:
Nicholas Sparks
Virago

The Heart Goes Last

Margaret Atwood
Authors:
Margaret Atwood

By the author of The Handmaid's Tale and Alias GraceStan and Charmaine are a married couple trying to stay afloat in the midst of economic and social collapse. Living in their car, surviving on tips from Charmaine's job at a dive bar, they're increasingly vulnerable to roving gangs and in a rather desperate state. So when they see an advertisement for the Positron Project in the town of Consilience - a 'social experiment' offering stable jobs and a home of their own - they sign up immediately. All they have to do in return for this suburban paradise is give up their freedom every second month, swapping their home for a prison cell. At first, all is well. But slowly, unknown to the other, Stan and Charmaine develop a passionate obsession with their counterparts, the couple that occupy their home when they are in prison. Soon the pressures of conformity, mistrust, guilt and sexual desire take over, and Positron looks less like a prayer answered and more like a chilling prophecy fulfilled.

Constable

A Cold Death in Amsterdam

Anja de Jager
Authors:
Anja de Jager

Set in Amsterdam, the novel introduces Lotte Meerman, a Cold Case detective still recovering from the emotional devastation of her previous investigation. A tip-off leads Lotte to an unresolved ten-year-old murder case in which her father was the lead detective. When she discovers irregularities surrounding the original investigation that make him a suspect, she decides to cover for him. She doesn't tell her boss about the family connection and jeopardises her career by hiding evidence. Now she has to find the real murderer before her acts are discovered, otherwise her father will go to jail and she will lose her job, the one thing in life she still takes pride in . . .

Sphere

To Love Again

Danielle Steel
Authors:
Danielle Steel
Piatkus

Spring Tide

Iris Collier
Authors:
Iris Collier

Peaceful and isolated, and for part of each day cut off from the Northumbrian mainland by the tides, Lindisfarne seems untouched by the 20th century. But when the body of barmaid Ginny Adams, raped and battered, is discovered in a shallow grave, it is clear that evil has come to Holy Island.

Piatkus

Day Of Wrath

Iris Collier
Authors:
Iris Collier

Nicholas Peverell has returned to his manor house in Sussex after visiting King Henry VIII at court to find that his loyal steward has been murdered - strangled and thrown from the manor house tower. Nicholas immediately decides to launch an investigation. He also has to deal with the unrest among the monks at his priory - King Henry is trying to reform the church and the plight of the monks is as yet unsure - could they somehow be involved? Nicholas' problems are further exacerbated when beautiful and talented local girl Jane Warrener tells him she has overheard talk of a conspiracy against the king. It is her notion that his steward's murder had something to do with it. Perhaps he overheard the conspirators and they killed him off before he could betray their plans. . .If this is the case, and with King Henry's untimely announcement of his intention to visit Peverell Manor on his way to Portsmouth in just a few days, Nicholas has no time to lose if he is to hunt down the murderous traitors and save the life of his king.

Virago

On Writers and Writing

Margaret Atwood
Authors:
Margaret Atwood

By the author of The Handmaid's Tale and Alias GraceWhat is the role of the writer? Prophet? High Priest of Art? Court Jester? Or witness to the real world? Looking back on her own childhood and the development of her writing career, Margaret Atwood examines the metaphors which writers of fiction and poetry have used to explain - or excuse! - their activities, looking at what costumes they have seen fit to assume, what roles they have chosen to play. In her final chapter she takes up the challenge of the book's title: if a writer is to be seen as 'gifted', who is doing the giving and what are the terms of the gift?Margaret Atwood's wide and eclectic reference to other writers, living and dead, is balanced by anecdotes from her own experiences as a writer, both in Canada and on the international scene. The lightness of her touch is underlined by a seriousness about the purpose and the pleasures of writing, and by a deep familiarity with the myths and traditions of western literature.

Sphere

The Far Side of the Sun

Kate Furnivall
Authors:
Kate Furnivall

With beautiful blue skies, sandy beaches and glorious sunshine, the Bahamas is a slice of heaven. But in 1943, the world is at war and even paradise isn't safe . . .Twenty-three-year-old Dodie Wyatt thought she had escaped her turbulent past - but one night her peace is shattered when she chooses to help a man she finds stabbed in an alleyway.On the other side of Nassau, wealthy diplomat's wife Ella Stanford plays the role she has been born into, throwing herself into charitable work and charming her husband's powerful friends. But she has secrets to keep - and those secrets could put her life in danger.When one of the richest men in the world is found dead, these two very different women - Dodie, a shy introvert, and Ella, a confident socialite - are drawn together. With the unstable island spiralling into violence, deceit, greed and death, Dodie and Ella have only each other to rely on, as their lives are torn apart . . .

Virago

MaddAddam

Margaret Atwood
Authors:
Margaret Atwood

By the author of The Handmaid's Tale and Alias GraceToby, a survivor of the man-made plague that has swept the earth, is telling stories.Stories left over from the old world, and stories that will determine a new one. Listening hard is young Blackbeard, one of the innocent Crakers, the species designed to replace humanity. Their reluctant prophet, Jimmy-the-Snowman, is in a coma, so they've chosen a new hero - Zeb, the street-smart man Toby loves. As clever Pigoons attack their fragile garden and malevolent Painballers scheme, the small band of survivors will need more than stories.

Sphere

Voices In Summer

Rosamunde Pilcher
Authors:
Rosamunde Pilcher

Laura, newly married and ever conscious she may be living in the shadow of her husband Alec's first wife, decides to take a holiday with his family in Cornwall. Through the long hot summer days she is slowly charmed by the beautiful old house and the people she learns to know and love. In time her uneasy spirit is soothed by the sparkling, brilliant sea, and her restless heart finally calmed.But is this new-found tranquillity too good to be true? For with the arrival of an anonymous letter, one accusing her of having an affair, Laura's world is thrown into turmoil . . .

Piatkus

Best Kind of Broken

Chelsea Fine
Authors:
Chelsea Fine
Virago

Murder In The Dark

Margaret Atwood
Authors:
Margaret Atwood

By the author of The Handmaid's Tale and Alias GraceThese short fictions and prose poems are beautifully bizarre: bread can no longer be thought of as wholesome comforting loaves; the pretensions of the male chef are subjected to a loght roasting; a poisonous brew is concocted by cynical five year olds; and knowing when to stop is of deadly importance in a game of Murder in the Dark.* 'Direct, unpretentious, humorous' SUNDAY TIMES

Sphere

Witches of East End

Melissa de la Cruz
Authors:
Melissa de la Cruz

*Read the novel that inspired the major TV drama Witches of East End, now available on Netflix*'Smart, stylish and just a bit wicked' Deborah Harkness, bestselling author of A Discovery of WitchesFreya, Ingrid and Joanna Beauchamp love their sleepy life in North Hampton. A new engagement, an interesting job, a happy home - life is perfect. Yet these women are harbouring a centuries-old secret: they are powerful witches forbidden to practise magic. But when a young woman turns up dead, it soon becomes clear to the Beauchamp women that it's time to come out of hiding and fight the dark forces that are brewing.Fraught with love affairs, witchcraft, mythology and an unforgettable battle between good and evil, Witches of East End is a deliciously fun and magical read from Melissa de la Cruz, author of the bestselling Blue Bloods series.*Originally published as Witches of the East in the United Kingdom*

Virago

Oryx And Crake

Margaret Atwood
Authors:
Margaret Atwood

By the author of The Handmaid's Tale and Alias GracePigs might not fly but they are strangely altered. So, for that matter, are wolves and racoons. A man, once named Jimmy, lives in a tree, wrapped in old bedsheets, now calls himself Snowman. The voice of Oryx, the woman he loved, teasingly haunts him. And the green-eyed Children of Crake are, for some reason, his responsibility. 'In Jimmy, Atwood has created a great character: a tragic-comic artist of the future, part buffoon, part Orpheus. An adman who's a sad man; a jealous lover who's in perpetual mourning; a fantasist who can only remember the past' - Independent'Gripping and remarkably imagined' - London Review of Books

Virago

The Year Of The Flood

Margaret Atwood
Authors:
Margaret Atwood