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Stories about storytelling: Kirsty Gunn’s preoccupation with words is utterly entrancing

For a marvellous unravelling of women’s minds read Infidelities by Kirsty Gunn, suggests Sophia Waugh in a review of this latest volume of short stories

3 January 2015

9:00 AM

3 January 2015

9:00 AM

Infidelities Kirsty Gunn

Faber, pp.207, £12.99, ISBN: 9780571308910

Although entitled Infidelities this collection of short stories could as well be
called Choices, because that is what really preoccupies Kirsty Gunn’s characters. Divided into three sections, ‘Going Out’, ‘Staying Out’ and ‘Never Coming Home’, the stories are more linked by style and writing than by any theme. Gunn’s style is clear, unaffected and poetic without being pretentious; her descriptions of nature — for instance the sky at the beginning of ‘The Wolf on the Road’ — are at times almost painfully beautiful.

One stylistic technique she favours is not always as successful as her descriptive writing; often in a story she...

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