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<p><i> Married Love</i> is a masterful collection of short fiction from one of today’s most accomplished storytellers. These tales showcase the qualities for which Tessa Hadley has long been praised: her humor, warmth, and psychological acuity; her powerful, precise, and emotionally dense prose; her unflinching examinations of family relationships. Here are stories that range widely across generations and classes, exploring the private and public lives of unforgettable characters: a young girl who haunts the edges of her parents’ party; a wife released by the sudden death of her film-director husband; an eighteen-year-old who insists on marrying her music professor, only to find herself shut out from his secrets. In this stunning collection, Hadley evokes worlds that expand in the imagination far beyond the pages, capturing domestic dramas, generational sagas, wrenching love affairs and epiphanies, and distilling them to remarkable effect. </p>
<strong>Amazon Best Books of the Month, December 2012:</strong> Novels and stories being such different beasts, it's rare to find a writer gifted at both: the quick sketches and implications of a short piece; the steady build and satisfying arc of an extended one. Four-time novelist Tessa Hadley deftly handles any length, as her outstanding new collection confirms. Despite the book's title, <i>Married Love</i>, these dozen taut stories are decidedly unsentimental. In "Friendly Fire," a middle-aged mother cleans toilets in a warehouse, reflecting on her hapless husband and soldier son; in "Post Production," a film director dies suddenly in his kitchen, leaving a bizarre tangle of relationships behind. Hadley has a special talent for opening lines: "After the sex, he fell asleep," reads one. Only a writer at the top of her game could make you care what happens next. You will. --<i>Mia Lipman</i>