Why Don't You Stop Talking? by Jackie Kay

Why Don't You Stop Talking?

Jackie Kay

A collection of stories about people who appear conventional on the outside but live with a secret. The beginnings are unpretentious but something changes the main character and the endings are bizarre. I enjoyed the stories but got annoyed with some of the characters.

Extract

When Louis left for school, she got down on her knees and crawled to the garden. It was much easier on all fours, a huge relief. She felt herself shrink and shrink, she felt the scales grow on her forelimbs and around the side until she felt a crusty, marginal edge forming. It was a glorious feeling of relief, close to euphoria. It was as if she had been turned inside out. She felt fantastically good. The world from down here was full of simple pleasures. Her sight was still sharp, but different. All she could see close up was the sharpness of a blade of grass, the impossible darkness of the earth. She dug down into the soil moving over small black hills, behind bushes, moving surprisingly quickly, till she found what she was looking for. She jumped on a pink, juicy translucent worm and ate it hastily. She sniffed the dark earth for a snail.

Parallels
  • Complete Short Stories by J G Ballard
  • The Whole Story by Ali Smith

Books with similar mood

The Devil's Larder

Jim Crace

Life Knocks

Craig Stone

Down the Rabbit Hole

Juan Pablo Villalobos

All Hail the New Puritans

Nicholas Blincoe and Matt Thorne

Rotten Row

Petina Gappah

Mister Wonderful

Daniel Clowes

Poachers

Tom Franklin

Bang Crunch

Neil Smith

The Scream

Laurent Graff

An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England

Brock Clarke

Heartbreak

Craig Raine

Pavel & I

Dan Vyleta

Mr Peanut

Adam Ross

Learning to Talk

Hilary Mantel

The Devil in Me

Christopher Fowler

Downriver

Sean O'Brien

People I Wanted to Be

Gina Ochsner

The Dog Catcher

Alexei Sayle

Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures

Vincent Lam

Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives

David Eagleman

Gaza Blues

Etgar Keret and Samur El-Youssef

Portrait of My Lover as a Horse

Selima Hill

Finbar's Hotel

Dermot Bolger

The Old Child

Jenny Erpenbeck

Crushed Mexican Spiders

Tibor Fischer

The Roost

Neil Butler

The New Uncanny: Tales of Unease

Sarah Eyre and Ra Page (eds)

Lanzarote

Michel Houellebecq

The Smiling School for Calvinists

Bill Duncan

The Collection

Nina Leger

Cold Sea Stories

Pawel Huelle

Best European Fiction 2011

Aleksandar Hemon (ed)

Alpha Male

William Brandt

We Are Made of Diamond Stuff

Isabel Waidner

Malarky

Anakana Schofield

No One Belongs Here More Than You

Miranda July

Vertigo

W G Sebald

Greetings to our Friends in Brazil

Paul Durcan

The Atmospheric Railway

Shena Mackay

Four Walls

Vangelis Hatziyannidis

Rory's Boys

Alan Clark

Notes from a Turkish Whorehouse

Philip O Ceallaigh

Fresh Apples

Rachel Trezise

Nominies

Ian Duhig

Legends

Robert Silverberg

Loop of Jade

Sarah Howe

1914: A Novel

Jean Echenoz

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia

Mohsin Hamid