Author(s): Philip Hensher
Ten daring stories from 'a writer who seems capable of anything' (Guardian), the Booker Prize-shortlisted Philip Hensher Backdrops vary in this collection of stories from the author of The Northern Clemency - from turmoil in Sudan following the death of a politician in a plane crash, to southern India where a Soho hedonist starts to envisage the crump and soar of munitions. Each story, regardless of location, reveals a great writer at the peak of his powers.
'As a fiction writer, Hensher has virtuosity on tap, so every page delivers something enjoyable and even eye-popping; a vibrant exchange, a spry description, a tickling bit of indirect speech' New Statesman 'Entertainingly varied stories ... Hensher sneaks into a life like a cat burglar, pads around to survey the scene and slips out again, leaving everything quietly disturbed' Literary Review 'Thomas Mann-like in its homoerotic undertones and high-flown hymns to unrequited love but a good deal funnier ... Hensher is deft at locating the moment of crisis when a character experiences a change of heart or a nasty surprise, and life is exposed in all its drab wonder ... Entertainingly varied in tone and setting, the stories combine quaint physical observation with a caustic intelligence' Evening Standard 'Elegant stories that radiate with fine human feeling inspired by altogether muddled lives ... Hensher's prose can be painterly' Financial Times 'Hensher has a pitch-perfect way with language and invented detail' Sunday Times 'A comedy of manners with an occasional dark side' Daily Telegraph 'A delightful read, full of beauty and humour' The Herald 'He is an expert writer, and an expert tone runs through this vigorous collection. Hensher observes all human life with the detachment of a scientist ... He nails lust, hypocrisy, regret and hopefulness with an exquisite eye for detail. Unromantic, and dark at times, this collection is always interesting' Daily Mail 'A brilliantly astute book ... every narrative is unified by Hensher's incredible eye for detail and effortless talent for multi-layered storytelling' Attitude 'Hensher's adaptability as a writer and love of form brings us clever, ravishing and moving storytelling' Monocle
Philip Hensher has written nine novels, including The Mulberry Empire, the Booker-shortlisted The Northern Clemency, King of the Badgers and Scenes from Early Life, which won the Ondaatje Prize in 2012. He is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Bath Spa and lives in South London and Geneva.