Tales of Persuasion

Philip Hensher

Ten daring stories from ‘a writer who seems capable of anything’ (Guardian), the Booker Prize-shortlisted Philip Hensher

Backdrops vary in this collection of stories from the author of The Northern Clemency – from turmoil in Sudan following the death of a politician in a plane crash, to southern India where a Soho hedonist starts to envisage the crump and soar of munitions. Each story, regardless of location, reveals a great writer at the peak of his powers.

Reviews of Tales of Persuasion

    • ‘As a fiction writer, Hensher has virtuosity on tap, so every page delivers something enjoyable and even eye-popping; a vibrant exchange, a spry description, a tickling bit of indirect speech’ New Statesman
    • ‘Entertainingly varied stories … Hensher sneaks into a life like a cat burglar, pads around to survey the scene and slips out again, leaving everything quietly disturbed’ Literary Review
    • ‘Thomas Mann-like in its homoerotic undertones and high-flown hymns to unrequited love but a good deal funnier … Hensher is deft at locating the moment of crisis when a character experiences a change of heart or a nasty surprise, and life is exposed in all its drab wonder … Entertainingly varied in tone and setting, the stories combine quaint physical observation with a caustic intelligence’ Evening Standard
    • ‘Elegant stories that radiate with fine human feeling inspired by altogether muddled lives … Hensher’s prose can be painterly’ Financial Times
    • ‘Hensher has a pitch-perfect way with language and invented detail’ Sunday Times
    • ‘A comedy of manners with an occasional dark side’ Daily Telegraph
    • ‘A delightful read, full of beauty and humour’ The Herald
    • ‘He is an expert writer, and an expert tone runs through this vigorous collection. Hensher observes all human life with the detachment of a scientist … He nails lust, hypocrisy, regret and hopefulness with an exquisite eye for detail. Unromantic, and dark at times, this collection is always interesting’ Daily Mail
    • ‘A brilliantly astute book … every narrative is unified by Hensher’s incredible eye for detail and effortless talent for multi-layered storytelling’ Attitude
    • ‘Hensher’s adaptability as a writer and love of form brings us clever, ravishing and moving storytelling’ Monocle
    • ‘It’s Hensher writ large: poignant without sentimentalising, acutely observant of the mores of the modern world, but profoundly interested in the timeless search for the meaning of life.’ Observer