English Magic, Uschi Gatward
“As I cross a clearing, a huge auburn fox, the biggest I’ve seen, as big as a pig, pounds past me, a hare in its jaws. Another, younger fox chases it. I watch them hurtle through the wet trees, flashing tawny and bright.
… I wonder about the foxes, and the other things. Will we be their prey, when the weather turns, when the ice sets in?”
English Magic moves through fields and parklands, estates and empty beaches.
It lands at Heathrow Airport, takes a taxi to the suburbs, finds emptiness and oppression. It strikes out for the countryside on May Day, to where maypoles whirl and haybales blaze, and where blessings sound like threats.
It’s in a flat, drags itself out of half sleep… and there’s something knocking behind the gas fire…
In her debut collection of short stories, Uschi Gatward takes us on a tour of England simultaneously domestic and wild, familiar and strange, real and imagined. Coupling the past and the present, merging the surreal and the mundane, English Magic is a collection full of humour and warmth, subversion and intoxication. It announces the arrival of a shining new talent.
Paperback, 200 pages