Weird and wonderful stories of beauty and horror.
Like her award-winning novels, Marina Warner's stories conjure up mysteries and wonders in a physical world, treading a delicate, magical line between the natural and the supernatural, between openness and fear. In 'Natural Limits', a bereaved woman, contemplating the massacre of 11,000 virgins, comes to terms with the unimaginable; the title story and 'Canary' search for signs of evil or innocence written on the body; a 'canary' dies of toxic malice, while in 'Daughters of the Game' and 'The Armour of San Gereone' body doubles stand in for saints and film stars; and beneath a monstrous, charismatic or saintly carapace there turns out to be a man of straw. The insomniac princess finds that unheard melodies are indeed sweeter; whereas several stories give voice to the traditionally voiceless - the artist's model, the film double, and in a grisly reworking of the Brothers Grimm, a girl with bells not on her toes but on her hands. Here are fabulous images of saints and sinners, bats and nightingales, pink flesh and putrefaction in an electrifying new collection.
Marina Warner's fiction includes The Lost Father (shortlisted for the Booker Prize), Indigo, The Leto Bundle and a previous collection of stories, The Mermaids in the Basement. Her work on myth, symbolism and fairy tale includes Alone of All Her Sex, From the Beast to the Blonde and No Go the Bogeyman.