Celia Fremlin

Ghostly Stories

"Only 42 pages long, these two stories still pack a punch."


Faber Stories, a landmark series of individual volumes, presents masters of the short story form at work in a range of genres and styles. 'Be sure you don't answer the door to anyone you don't know.'

A little Patricia Highsmith, a touch of Shirley Jackson: the long-neglected Celia Fremlin wrote short, sharp stories that threw women's lives into shiver-inducing relief.

In each of these twinned tales, a mother and daughter meet again, and an ordinary home becomes the setting for a return of the repressed.

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This series highlights two short spooky stories by Fremlin. I have been a massive cheerleader of Fremlin's since I bought two battered paperbacks on a market stall in the 90's. Back then, besides the usual couple of titles, the main body of her work was out of print. Although I love her novels, mainly 'The Trouble Makers' and 'Uncle Paul' (if you want any recommendations), her short stories are the ones I go back to time and again. Fremlin had such an acute and precise eye that she could deliver a sting in the tail every time and many have landed in different anthologies. These two are sterling examples of Fremlin's work. She usually deals with the mother/daughter complex relationship which she does excellently. Only 42 pages long, these two stories still pack a punch. Then I suggest you go and buy one of her collections. I am certain you won't be disappointed. It is a joy to see Fremlin back in print!

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