Notable Book of the Year, New York Times Book Review

Lynn Freed has been widely praised as one of most fearless and sophisticated explorers of sexual and filial love. These fourteen short stories, written over the past ten years but never before collected, are vintage Freed. They deal with the struggle between mothers and their wayward daughters, with the often preposterous bonds that tie men and women together, and with the complex games that masters and servants play. In spare, elegant prose, Ms. Freed delivers surprise after surprise as she shakes the truth from life. Whether she is portraying a mother mired in senile dementia in “Ma, A Memoir,” a young girl experiencing her first sexual encounter with an itinerant knife sharpener in “Under the House,” or a young woman incapable of loving conventionally in “An Error of Desire,” Freed portrays the absurdity, the delusions, the dramas and the dignity of her characters’ lives.


“A witty, accomplished debut collection . . . Fourteen sophisticated treasures.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“Freed creates achingly real women and lovingly rendered misfits . . . Quietly devastating and deeply resonant.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Her style — spare, tough, unflinching — and her subject matter — the thorny issue of women’s desire — are firmly established. Whether set in her native South Africa, in the United States or on unnamed islands, her fiction follows women driven by their visceral impulses, women who live in worlds where men matter, where looks matter, where sex matters — a lot.”
—The New York Times Book Review

Publisher: Mariner Books (September 1, 2004)
ISBN: 0156029944
Paperback: 208 pages