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Fiction in brief: Bad Dreams by Tessa Hadley

"Her ear for dialogue and emotional nuance is sharp, her tone never slipping from a stream of fresh, evocative imagery" writes Charlotte Runcie

By Charlotte Runcie   January 2017

cover-jpg-rendition-460-707Bad Dreams and Other Stories by Tessa Hadley (Jonathan Cape, £16.99)

“Deeds Not Words,” a short story in the middle of Tessa Hadley’s new collection, is about two female teachers at a girls’ school just before the outbreak of the First World War. One is an imprisoned suffragette undergoing force feeding, the other is having an affair with a married male teacher. As war breaks out, both women find their identities, built on defiant liberty, dashed by the entitlement of those around them, and are shamed into silence.

It’s a jewel of a story,…

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