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The skull beneath the skin: Ghost Pains, by Jessi Jezewska Stevens, reviewed

Pain lurks below the surface of these sardonic short stories. Happiness is fleeting, and ‘we carry death within us like a stone within a fruit’, one narrator observes

9 March 2024

9:00 AM

9 March 2024

9:00 AM

Ghost Pains Jessi Jezewska Stevens

And Other Stories, pp.304, 14.99

Hell, according to Jean-Paul Sartre, is other people. Jessi Jezewska Stevens would nominate parties. Social catastrophe can stem from the invitation: ‘Email!’ she laments. ‘The way all modern tragedies begin.’ She homes in on the space between what a woman thinks and says and does. Her anti-heroines can be relied on to make wrong decisions – men, marriage, nipple-piercing and, of course, parties.

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