‘Butcher’s Perfume’ by Sarah Hall

My wife is from Cumbria, and we go all the time – not to tourist central, but to the south lakes, the bits where Cumbrians live. Sarah Hall’s story might be from the other end of the county, but I love it for the feel of the grit and scramble of poor rural life, the strangeness of the out of the way corners of England, and above all the language – the odd, rough, Viking-inflected words of Cumbrian dialect.

First published in 2010 by Comma Press as part of the shortlist for the BBC National Short Story Award, then collected in The Beautiful Indifference, Faber, 2011

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