‘Mrs Calder and the Hyena’ by Marjorie Ann Watts

I met this author at a party in the burning heat that seemed to melt London this summer. I found myself hoping that I might be like her when I reach my eighties or nineties. A few weeks later, I read this book of short stories. I enjoyed them so much, I felt irritated that she had not received more attention from the literary world. This is a most peculiar and most tender collection. I read this opening story with certain amazement. It is such an unexpected little gem, I want everyone to read it. I also want to hear Watts read it. That would be a proper treat.

From Are they funny, are they dead? CB editions, 2010)

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