A ravishing, luminous selection of short stories from the prize-winning imagination of A. S. Byatt, "a storyteller who could keep a sultan on the edge of his throne for a thousand and one nights" (The New York Times Book Review). With an introduction by David Mitchell, best-selling author of Cloud Atlas
Mirrors shatter at the hairdresser's when a middle-aged client explodes in rage. Snow dusts the warm body of a princess, honing it into something sharp and frosted. Summer sunshine flickers on the face of a smiling child who may or may not be real.
Medusa's Ankles celebrates the very best of A. S. Byatt's short fiction, carefully selected from a lifetime of writing. Peopled by artists, poets, and fabulous creatures, the stories blaze with creativity and color. From ancient myth to a British candy factory, from a Chinese restaurant to a Mediterranean swimming pool, from a Turkish bazaar to a fairy-tale palace, Byatt transports her readers beyond the veneer of the ordinary—even beyond the gloss of the fantastical—to places rich and strange and wholly unforgettable.
About the Author
A. S. BYATT is the author of numerous novels, including The Children’s Book, The Biographer’s Tale, and Possession, which was awarded the Booker Prize. She has also written two novellas, published together as Angels & Insects, five collections of short stories, and several works of nonfiction. A distinguished critic and author, and the recipient of the 2016 Erasmus Prize for her “inspiring contribution to ‘life writing,’” she lives in London.
“A scintillating look at three decades of the author’s work. Her stories transcend genre and stylistic limits, traversing through landscapes fantastical and real, as they bewitch, unnerve, and comfort the reader . . . Each story showcases Byatt’s exquisite prose and her wide-ranging mastery of the short story form. For the uninitiated, this makes for a perfect entry point.”
“The short story format suits Byatt beautifully. She favors adjective-spangled cascades of images, excavates the dictionary for rare specimens, and sends iambs and anapests cavorting across the paragraphs . . . Exquisite . . . Beautifully evocative.”