The Dressing-up Box

The stories in David Constantine’s fifth collection all orbit around a moment of personal crisis, a pressure point where the weight of the past or the present becomes unbearable. These crises may be brought on by a bereavement, a personal failure or trauma, or a crisis of identity. But in all cases, what’s at stake is a life worth living, a space that tolerates us as humans, regardless of how intolerant we’ve been towards it of late: that is to say, a hospitable, rather than a hostile environment.

Many of the protagonists in these stories are children: loved, abused, in danger, they represent the fragile, threatened hope for a better future. In other stories, children appear as an encouragement in an adult world that appears to be drifting inexorably towards ignorance and isolation. Whether set in Paris in the early 19th Century, on the Pennine moors, or amid the defiant multiculturalism of Oxford’s Cowley Road, these stories also remind us that even in the darkest of times new germs of hope are quietly taking root.

 

Praise for David Constantine:

‘Perhaps the finest of contemporary writers in this form.’ – The Reader

‘Constantine’s writing is rare today, unafraid to be rich and allusive and unashamedly moving.’ – The Independent

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Book Details

ISBN-10
1912697211
ISBN-13
9781912697212
Published
18 Jul 2019

About the Author

David Constantine

Born in Salford in 1944, David Constantine worked for thirty years as a university teacher of German language and literature. He has published several…
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