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In this dazzling collection, Susan Irvine takes the reader into the creative mind. From Concept I, in which an artist presents her son as a work of art for the Turner Prize, to a Hoxton novelist who outsources the production of ‘his’ prose to a fabulator, to a stylist whose attempt to subvert fashion’s shallowness backfires, Irvine’s characters find themselves caught between real life and the desire to create.

Moving through the worlds of art, academia, fashion and fiction, these stories challenge received ideas, cast a wry look at those who take themselves too seriously and explore the betrayals art can entail.


'Susan Irvine has written a skeweringly clever collection of stories satirising the pretensions of the art and fashion worlds. She can also achieve moments of lyricism, as when an old woman contemplates a tree, or when a young girl gazes at the sea. This is original, brilliantly witty and bitingly close to the bone' Philip Womack, Daily Telegraph.
Daily Telegraph
'Scottish-born Irvine likes to write in unusual ways, which largely pays off; straight Q & As, a play on lifestyle surveys and advice books, dialogue driven narratives, all give her prose an unpredictable yet approachable feel' Scottish Review of Books.
Scottish Review of Books
'...sharp little satires that skewer pretension ... at their best, they sparkle with observation ... Irvine has a Hogarthian eye for detail and the grotesque. She delights in words ... understated, affecting and beautifully written, it shows that Susan Irvine is a writer to be taken seriously' Times Literary Supplement.
Times Literary Supplement