Short Stories


‘Taylor relates these 16 tales of human fallibility with the dispassionate eye of someone who’s not only seen it all but can also write about it frighteningly well … This is the work of a mature author, whose prolific output has sharpened her talents, and her insight into human beings, to a fine point’
Alastair Mabbott, SCOTTISH HERALD

‘Readers will be mesmerized by the haunting, poetic writing … [and] savor this exceptional collection of tales … Pensive and luminous’ KIRKUS REVIEWS

‘A dark, enigmatic collection … What is not revealed in these tales is as dramatic as what is, with Taylor hinting at different and tantalizing narrative possibilities. These tales of longing, jealousy, and loss reveal the discomfiting effects of love on the mind, soul, and body’ PUBLISHERS’ WEEKLY SELECT

‘The way in which she presents intricate slices of the everyday is reminiscent of the fabulous Alice Munro. The sheer scope of the tales show just how good an author she is, and one cannot help but think that she could deftly turn her hand to writing anything she pleased … Russell Taylor’s writing is stunning, and the details which she describes are often startling … a marvellous collection of short stories’ Kirsty Hewitt, BOOK HUGGER

‘Belated examines unspoken yearnings within couples, the secret lives of the solitary and the menace that lurks in everyday exchanges, brilliantly capturing unnerving cruelties, compromises and contradictions in daily life’ BOOKANISTA

You can read a taster here.


‘In good, plain writing, formal and elegant, ERT slowly unfolds bizarre, incisive tales of sex and loss … dark and sharp and often disturbing, yet also at times moving’ Carol Birch, TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

‘ERT’s elegant anti-climaxes and deadpan delivery combined with that rare spellbinding storyteller’s language make this collection one to own’ Barbara Drillsma, HAM & HIGH

‘The sort of violence that goes beyond the usual crockery-throwing rows of kitchen sink drama lies at the heart of the most intimate relationships. Such is the message in this second collection of stories … which should be required prenuptial reading … and has more bite than a set of long-life dentures’ Alex O’Connell, THE TIMES

‘Very funny … much about Bad Gentiles – and, alas, Bad Jews – but its cool cruelties do deserve a wide readership’ Amanda Craig, JEWISH CHRONICLE

‘It is hard to pinpoint what makes this collection so unsettling. Their worlds – some border territory between genteel suburbia and dreamland – are imagined with an eerie thoroughness, and described in decorous old-fashioned prose. The inhabitants are all somehow out of kilter, and terrifyingly fragile; spinsterish middle-agers paralysed by sexual fear; anxious children in the centre of parental power games. ERT’s abrupt, elegantly engineered anticlimaxes leave the reader with the disquieting feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop’ Sam Leith, OBSERVER

‘ERT’S stories have a bleakness reminiscent of Roald Dahl … saved from sentimentality by the witty deadpan language’ Ruth Padel, DAILY TELEGRAPH

ERT’s short fiction has been published in the anthologies Primal Picnics (2010) and Mordecai’s First Brush With Love (2004), and her work has also been anthologised in The Virago Book of the Joy of Shopping (2007) and The Virago Book of Food: The Joy of Eating (2006). She also wrote the introduction for the Virago Modern Classics edition of Elizabeth Taylor’s In a Summer Season (2000).