Everyday life crackles with the electricity sparking between men and women, between parents and children, between friends. A son confesses to his mother that he is cheating on his girlfriend; a student falls in love with her lecturer and embarks on an affair with a man in the pub who looks just like him. Young mothers pent-up in childcare dream treacherously of other possibilities; a boy becomes aware of the woman, a guest at his parents' holiday home, who is pressing up too close against him on the beach.
Hidden away inside the present, the past is explosive; the future can open unexpectedly out of any chance encounter; ordinary moments are illuminated with lightning flashes of dread or pleasure. These stories about family life are somehow undomesticated and dangerous.
Tessa Hadley is the author of six highly praised novels, Accidents in the Home, which was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, Everything Will Be All Right, The Master Bedroom, The London Train, Clever Girl and The Past, and three collections of stories, Sunstroke, Married Love and Bad Dreams. The Past won the Hawthornden Prize for 2016, and Bad Dreams won the 2018 Edge Hill Short Story Prize. She lives in London and is Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. Her stories appear regularly in the New Yorker and other magazines.