Winter in the Air

Sylvia Townsend Warner


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Faber & Faber
17 November 2022
ISBN: 9780571375462
272 pages

From the publisher

This Christmas, bask in these ‘diminutive masterpieces’ (Guardianby the English genius behind Lolly Willowes.

‘One of our finest writers.’ Neil Gaiman
One of the most shamefully under-read great British authors of the past 100 years.’ Sarah Waters
‘Diminutive masterpieces … Hand yourself over to be enchanted.’ Guardian
‘Extraordinary, lucid wildness.’ Helen MacDonald
‘Glinting perfection’ The Times

Decades after her divorce, a lady returns to the village of her tumultuous marriage. A railway carriage hosts a charged schoolboy encounter. A murder raises fears of blackmail. A woman waits anxiously in a café before eloping to Paris. Another steals a friend’s kitchen knife.

In these bittersweet tales, the author of Lolly Willowes reveals her mastery of the short story, celebrated by the New Yorker for decades. Sylvia Townsend Warner is a tragicomic chronicler of the heart’s entanglements, from marriages and affairs to widowhood; and a champion of outsiders, whether single women, the elderly or wartime refugees.

Witty and subversive, her stories meld tradition and transgression, with secret sins and fetishes as much a feature of English life as eccentric aunts, country houses and parish churches.