Mary Gaitskill's tales of desire and dislocation in 1980s New York caused a sensation with their frank, caustic portrayals of men and women's inner lives.
As her characters have sex, try and fail to connect, play power games and inflict myriad cruelties on each other, she skewers urban life with precision and candour.
'Stubbornly original, with a sort of rhythm and fine moments that flatten you out when you don't expect it, these stories are a pleasure to read'
'An air of Pinteresque menace hangs over these people's social exchanges like black funereal bunting ...
Gaitskill writes with such authority, such radar-perfect detail'
Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times