“Her meticulously observed, extraordinarily perceptive stories are as satisfying as Alice Munro’s. Yes, Hadley is that good.”—NPR
Winner of the Edge Hill Short Story Prize
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
An NPR Best Book of the Year
Tessa Hadley has proven herself to be the champion of revealing the hidden depths in the deceptively simple. In these short stories, it’s the ordinary things that turn out to be the most extraordinary: the history of a length of fabric or a forgotten jacket. Two sisters quarrel over an inheritance and a new baby; a child awake in the night explores the familiar rooms of her home, made strange by the darkness; a housekeeper caring for a helpless old man uncovers secrets from his past. The first steps into a turning point and a new life are made so easily and carelessly: each of these stories illuminate crucial moments of transition, often imperceptible to the protagonists.
A girl accepts a lift in a car with some older boys; a young woman reads the diaries she discovers while housesitting. Small acts have large consequences, some that can reverberate across decades; private fantasies can affect other people, for better and worse.
Bad Dreams and Other Stories demonstrates yet again that Tessa Hadley “puts on paper a consciousness so visceral, so fully realized, it heightens and expands your own. She is a true master” (Lily King, author of Euphoria).