The people in The Blue, Maggie Gee’s first collection of short stories, try and often fail to understand the world, freeing themselves by small acts of courage, love or folly. A journalist decides to convert an evangelist in mid-air; a solicitor gives up his day job to help young artists; a Middle Eastern woman shocks her children as she walks through the heat towards the sea; a man, in a moment of madness, cuts down his neighbour’s tree.
These subtle fables of everyday life are set against an intricate global backdrop where life is harder for outsiders. Exquisitely written and aerated by comedy, they show human beings who struggle to live good lives.
About the Author
Maggie Gee is the author of twelve acclaimed novels, including The White Family (shortlisted for the Orange and IMPAC prizes), My Cleaner and a memoir, My Animal Life. She is a Fellow and Vice-President of the Royal Society of Literature, and Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. Her work has been translated into fourteen languages. Maggie Gee was awarded an OBE in 2012 for her services to literature.
'These light sketches, filled with colour, offer glimpses into their small subjects' lives and wider insights into the familiar world that surrounds them.'
Times Literary Supplement
'The Blue is an adventure ... the stories are by turns filmic, surprising, tragic, chilling, tender and sexy'
Scotland on Sunday
'The stories in this elegant book often pinpoint the places where morality and snobbery meet ... Her writing is superbly assured, with a crystalline clarity and understated humour.'
'The decent made indecent, the contented made complacent ... Gee presents the disjunction between intention and action in tightly compressed, almost epigrammatic narratives, little parables of human paradox.'
'Each story casts an individual spell, but Gee has also threaded her themes into a powerful whole, bound up with the central metaphor of water representing freedom, relief and solace, capable of extinguishing life altogether – or saving it.'