‘The Burley Cross Post Office Theft’ by Nicola Barker

This story became the opening of a novel of the same name, detailing the lives of the inhabitants of a fictional West Yorkshire village through the contents of a stolen postbox. As a standalone piece, though, it has more than enough complexity going for it, not least the 100 footnotes that an irate villager includes in a letter to the authorities to complain about that contentious subject: dog-fouling. It takes little time for us to realise he’s off his rocker – though quite possibly no more than anyone else. Written an awful long time before Brexit, it is nonetheless a sparky guide to the nature of our divided country.

(Appeared as a story in Granta 106. The novel was published by 4th Estate)

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