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With his elegant prose and perceptive imagination, the bestselling author of The Crimson Petal and the White creates a unique, self-contained world, where the perennial human drama plays out in all its passion and ambiguity. In these acclaimed novellas, Michel Faber takes on the interior world of inventively crafted characters. "The Courage Consort" tells of an a capella vocal ensemble sequestered in a Belgian chateau to rehearse a monstrously complicated new piece. But competing artistic temperaments and sexual needs create as much discordance as the avant-garde music. In "The Hundred and Ninety-Nine Steps," a lonely woman joins an archaeological dig at Whitby Abbey and unearths a mystery involving a long-hidden murder. In "The Fahrenheit Twins," strange children, identical in all but gender and left alone at the icy zenith of the world by their anthropologist parents, create their own ritual civilization.
Deft and lyrical, fearless and human, The Fahrenheit Twins sealed Faber's reputation as one of Britain's most arresting and important authors. Renowned for his pitch-perfect prose and brilliant characterisation, Faber is also celebrated for his mastery of wildly different styles. Within these seventeen stories he levels his gaze at humanity in all its despair, joy and mundanity. From the achingly sad lost lives of 'The Safehouse' through moments of exquisitely distilled happiness in 'Vanilla-Bright Like Eminem' to the biblical innocence and savagery of 'The Fahrenheit Twins', we are redeemed, abandoned, beloved and laid bare but we are always recognisable. Michel Faber has written several books, including the highly acclaimed The Crimson Petal and the White, The Fahrenheit Twins and the novellas The Hundred and Ninety-Nine Steps and The Courage Consort. The Apple, based on characters in The Crimson Petal and the White, was published in 2006. He has also won several short-story awards, including the Neil Gunn, Ian St James and Macallan. He was born in Holland, brought up in Australia and now lives in the Scottish Highlands. textpublishing.com.au 'Some are splendid fables, a couple border on the silly, while a few are truly poignant and complete. However, all are worth reading for the dizzying balancing act of a compulsively satirical, yet resolutely humanitarian voice.' Courier Mail 'Whether you are new to his work or an established fan, The Fahrenheit Twins is a delight.' Australian Bookseller & Publisher 'Faber's extraordinary imagination can be as dark as the deepest dungeon and as light as a wisp of gossamer, and he gives it full rein. Each of the stories is as unlike the others as possible, so every time you start one you have no idea what to expect - except you know you're in for a total treat.' Good Reading 'Were you to lock Paul Auster, Roald Dahl and Ian McEwan in a room together, the result might well resemble this collection of short stories by Michel Faber.' Sydney Morning Herald 'By turns crepuscular, buoyant, delicate, wry, horrific, otherworldly, this worldly and organ-rupturingly funny collection is a vitamin-boost for the British short-story.' David Mitchell, Guardian 'Such is the state of affairs in Faberville; anything is possible. And such is the other thing about these stories - their ability to get to you and stay with you.' The Times 'Dazzling...Faber is defiantly and inventively unafraid of love; he's optimistic and alive with possibilities.' Observer
In this volume, Polygon, The Macallan, and "Scotland on Sunday" are pleased to offer the very best of contemporary Scottish story writing selected from more than 2,000 entries to the 2001 Macallan / "Scotland on Sunday" Short Story Competition, including the winner, the five other shortlisted stories, and the best of the remaining entries. Selections include: "The Incomprehensible Mortality of Karen Mack, " by Sophie Cooke; "A Storm Gathering, " by Jonathan Falla; "Mango, " by Fiona J. Thackeray; and "Clear Thunder, " by Alan Bissett.
Sian, tired of nightmares in which she meets a grisly end, decides she needs to get out more, so she joins an archaeological dig at Whitby Abbey. What she finds is a mystery involving a long-hidden murder, a man with big hands, a fragile manuscript in a bottle, and a rather attractive dog called Hadrian. Faber's dazzling novella takes us up the 199 steps in Whitby that link the 21st century with the ruins of the past. Equal and indissoluble parts thriller, romance, historical/ghost story and meditation on the nature of sincerity, this is an ingenious literary page-turner. Atmospheric photographs complement the text beautifully. This book, like Henry James's The Turn of the Screw, deploys a masterful sense of ambiguity, outstanding narrative power, works on many levels and, as always with Faber's writing, is elegant, thought-provoking, distinctive and compelling.
Hailed as "original and unsettling, an Animal Farm for the new century" (The Wall Street Journal), this first novel lingers long after the last page has been turned. Described as a "fascinating psychological thriller" (The Baltimore Sun), this entrancing novel introduces Isserley, a female driver who picks up hitchhikers with big muscles. She, herself, is tiny--like a kid peering up over the steering wheel. Scarred and awkward, yet strangely erotic and threatening, she listens to her hitchhikers as they open up to her, revealing clues about who might miss them if they should disappear. At once humane and horrifying, Under the Skin takes us on a heart-thumping ride through dangerous territory--our own moral instincts and the boundaries of compassion. A grotesque and comical allegory, a surreal representation of contemporary society run amok, Under the Skin has been internationally received as the arrival of an exciting talent, rich and assured.

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