Introduction

Twelve you say—how can that be? Such a small amount of water and the pool is so big. To narrow it down first I had to remember, and then I had to read and re-read. Such exquisite pleasure. Such exquisite pain.

A good short story is like an arthouse film or a poem; you jump straight into the action and step off lightly at the end. Nothing is resolved. There is no neat summing up or resolution. The reader is made to work—imagining what came before and what could happen next. The stories that interest me usually focus in some way on the complexities of human interaction—the ways in which we misunderstand, mislead and are cruel to one another.  I like stories that are rooted in everyday life—but explore the dark undercurrents.

These twelve are stories that stayed with me long after reading them. Stories I have found myself thinking about in the supermarket queue or in bed at night. They are stories that trouble me or disturb me, stories that have changed me in some way.

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