I didn’t mean to pick so many stories that close collections, but here is another. ‘The Last Reunion’ brings together four older women who met at college as much younger women. The finality comes from the reunion itself, a final act for a women’s college that is closing down, or rather, amalgamating with a male college and moving counties, but also, one suspects, from the meeting of four people who won’t meet again, not least because they don’t even seem to like each other very much. Gardam, a brilliant and prolific writer, is a master at wry putdowns and deft characterisation. Read it and your life will flash backwards and forwards, almost simultaneously.
Collected in The People on Privilege Hill, Europa Editions, 2008. Read the first few pages here