From the bestselling author of The Mulberry Empire comes `a masterly collection of stories... astonishing' Mail on Sunday
Like the room from which it takes its title, THE BEDROOM OF THE MISTER 'S WIFE is a book full of secrets, partly revealed, partly concealed. A young couple are destroyed by the simple temptations of the ideal home; a shy Italian ends up in a stranger's hospital room when he rings a telephone number left in his back pocket; after a late-night excursion to Hampstead Heath; Stalin's daughter changes the life of a Cambridge painter with the gift of a fridge; and a German police officer spends a day posing as a terrorist, discovering new possibilities within herself.
In this collection of thirteen stories, discrete and contained lives brush up against each other. With unerring precision, Hensher focuses on the small moments when lives alter, his characters enacting their quiet tragedies in rooms and streets which have the crystal clarity of dreamscapes and where banality can assume almost operatic proportions.
Philip Hensher's novels include Kitchen Venom, which won the Somerset Maugham Award, Other Lulus and The Mulberry Empire, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, shortlisted for the WH Smith `People's Choice' Award and highlighted by no fewer than twelve reviewers as their `book of the year'. Chosen by Granta to appear on their prestigious, once-a-decade list of the twenty best young British novelists, Philip Hensher is also a columnist for the Independent and chief book reviewer for the Spectator. He lives in south London.