"Amongst the many prizes that A. S. Byatt has won in a stellar career spanning nearly six decades, a late accolade, the Hans Christian Andersen Literature Prize, cites her 'belief in the truth value of fairy tales, fables, and poetry.' It's an award that perceptively understands much of the foundation and inspirations for Byatt's work; for running like an underground river, or a life-giving stream, in her oeuvre is a cogent, intricate, enriching conversation going on with some of the oldest genres known to human civilization. Her mythopoeic powers are formidable, entrancing."
–Neel Mukherjee, Electric Literature
collects mesmeric, tantalizing short stories from over the course of Man Booker Prize-winning author A. S. Byatt's career . . . A peek into an acclaimed author's range as well as her poetic depths . . . As in her novels, Byatt's shorter works display her fluent, luminous prose. Even in her most realistic stories, dark and glittering descriptions bewitch readers into an otherworldly experience."
"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."