ISBN: 978-0099494188
Pages: 144

The stories in this collection chart tantrums, funerals, pregnancy, war and love affairs.  In the title story an hour-long circular heath walk encompasses feats of memory, cryptic crosswords, nonagenarians, and new life.

Jonathan Cape, 2005; Vintage, 2006; Knopf, 2007—renamed, In The Driver’s Seat; Christian Bourgois, 2008


The Door
The Year’s Midnight
Every Third Thought
Early One Morning
The Tree
If I’m Spared
The Phlebotomist’s Love Life
The Green Room


“His wife!… Perhaps his wife would only allow them to shake hands. When he was little his hands had been like velvet, without knuckles or veins; he used to put his small warm hands up her cardigan sleeves when he was wheedling for something.”

From Early One Morning


"Nothing could be more unseasonal than this--the bleachy stench of chlorine, Victorian tiled walls the colour of old ivory--and yet, thought Marion as she barrelled up the fast lane with flexible body and open chest, perhaps not.  It was the winter solstice, December the twenty-first, and so she was also aware of swimming in the dark sea of Time with the old year wheeling wearily across the sky above her, the sun very low and weak, and somewhere beneath the horizon the unmarked infant new year waiting its turn."

From The Year's Midnight

“At times like this, she cried, women get put in their place. They go horribly quiet.  It comes down to rape and babies. Ah, ah, you don’t like me going on at you like this. You’d prefer me in a chador!  A burqa!

You’re like a fox terrier, aren’t you, he’d said when she’d continued to disagree with him; you get hold of an idea and then nothing’ll stop the yapping.”

From The Phlebotomist’s Love Life



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