12 May 2022, The Tablet

Speed reading: James Moran on spellbinding stories


This spring sees the publication of short stories by three established and highly accomplished writers.

D.J. Taylor’s thoughtful but slightly ponderous collection of 15 vignettes, Stewkey Blues (Salt, £9.99; Tablet price £9), is named for a variety of cockles only found in the Norfolk village of Stiffkey (pronounced “Stewkey”). As the title indicates, these stories focus on the particularities of Norfolk life, and use a wealth of detail to establish some fascinatingly precise social and cultural contexts.

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