The Unfinished Novel and Other stories

ebook / ISBN-13: 9780297857167

Price: £5.49

ON SALE: 18th November 2010

Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Fiction: Special Features / Short Stories

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‘Spellbinding’ NEW YORK TIMES

‘Entrancingly good’ FINANCIAL TIMES

‘A narrative gift that can raise the hairs at the top of the spine’ SUNDAY TIMES

In the six stories that make up The Unfinished Novel, Valerie Martin turns an unflinching eye upon artists – driven and blocked, desired and detested, infamous and sublime, as they struggle beneath the tyranny of Art to reconcile their audience with their muse.

A painter who owes his small success to a man he despises, discovers that his passivity has cost him the love that might have set him free. An actress struggles with the guilt she still feels twenty years after an affair with a young actor whose promise mysteriously vaporized after a performance of Hamlet. A starving artist inhabits a bleak netherworld, where pride is a luxury no one can afford. A writer of modest talents encounters the old love who once betrayed him; now she repels him, yet the unfinished novel she leaves in his hands may surpass anything he could ever produce himself.

The last stories in the collection take us to Rome and a room with a limited view, and to a Brooklyn studio where a window opens onto limitless space. In the Eternal City an American poet is forced to choose between her lover, a dancer who has outraged academe, and a world so alien it takes her voice away. In the final story, a print maker, who has reached a certain age, enters so deeply into the magical world of her imagination that she can never find her way back.

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Spellbinding - a virtuoso
Entrancingly good ... In hands such as Valerie Martin's the short fiction form is not only flourishing but positively swaggering
She has the heart of an impassioned storyteller. The stories in her latest collection offer textbook examples of how to nail your reader ... each story in this collection is structured with consummate precision, each voice compellingly rendered
Martin is unpredictable yet compassionate, with a narrative gift that can raise the hairs at the top of the spine