‘Curl Up and Dye’ by Fran Landsman

I came across this story by chance and loved it for its vibrancy and dark comedy. I didn’t remember the name of the writer (sorry, Fran Landsman!), but I did vividly recall the picture of life and death in an old-fashioned hairdressing salon, with its “pink-domed Bakelite hair dryers” and a bored work-experience girl who “dreams of a future in the centre of Bath where she can ask clients if they’re going anywhere special, and they’ll say yes.” Finding it again I wasn’t surprised to read that Landsman is also an award-winning documentary film maker. And that she is interested in writing about the extraordinary qualities of ordinary people. That very much appeals to me.

(Published in The Bridport Prize 2008 anthology, available as an e-book here)

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