Games and Rituals: Unabridged edition

By Katherine Heiny, Read by Kate Rudd, Jeremy Carlisle Parker, Rebecca Lowman, Cassandra Campbell and Kimberly M. Wetherell



The beloved author of Early Morning Riser brings us eleven glittering stories of love – friendships formed at the airport bar, ex-husbands with benefits, mothers of suspiciously sweet teenagers, ill-advised trysts – in all its forms, both ridiculous and sublime.

The games and rituals performed by Katherine Heiny’s characters range from mischievous to tender. In ‘Bridesmaid, Revisited,’ Marilee, suffering from a laundry and life crisis, wears a massive bridesmaid’s dress to work. In ‘Twist and Shout,’ Ericka’s elderly father mistakes his four-thousand-dollar hearing aid for a cashew and eats it. In ‘Turn Back, Turn Back,’ a bedtime story coupled with a receipt for a Starbucks babyccino reveal a struggling actor’s deception. And in ‘561,’ Charlene pays the true price of infidelity and is forced to help her husband’s ex-wife move out of the family home.

From one of our most celebrated writers, our bard of waking up in the wrong bed, wearing the wrong shoes, late for the wrong job, but loved by the right people, Katherine Heiny has delivered a work of glorious humour and immense kindness.

Format: Audio-Book
Release Date: 18 Apr 2023
Pages: None
ISBN: 978-0-00-839518-6
Detailed Edition: Unabridged edition
Katherine Heiny is the author of Early Morning Riser, Standard Deviation and Single, Carefree, Mellow, and her short fiction has been published in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, Narrative, Glimmer Train, and many other places. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and children.

Praise for Games and Rituals -

‘Heiny has the comic writer’s knack of taking a character’s idiosyncrasies (…) and making them joyfully relatable. (And she can say more in a pithy parenthesis than many writers manage in a page.) She has a genius for spinning universality out of the absurdly specific’THE GUARDIAN -

‘Superb… as near perfection as, say, Donald Trump is far from it… Heiny is habitually congratulated for writing feelgood stories, but if these pointed, satirical, emotionally ruthless takes on humanity merely made me feel good, I wouldn’t value them half as much.’THE TIMES -

‘For any reader yet to encounter Katherine Heiny, this sparky new story collection provides a joyous introduction…The deadpan delivery, the bittersweet wisdom, the sublime farce - it’s all here.’THE OBSERVER -

Anyone who has read any of Heiny’s previous work will know she has a knack for capturing all the vicissitudes of love in a way that few other writers can. Games and Rituals is no different, bringing the minutiae of our everyday interactions to life with humour and clarity.’iNEWS -

Short stories sometimes leave you wanting more but each one in this collection is as satisfying as any novel… All human life is here and Heiny exposes its complexity with wit and poignancy’GOOD HOUSEKEEPING -

‘I’m a devoted fan of Katherine Heiny. I can’t think of another writer who manages to gets so under the skin of her characters…These might be short stories but each one contains multitudes.’RED MAGAZINE -

‘Games and Rituals, full of relatably weird characters discovering their self-deceptions, proves her to be the most pleasurable architect of the short story form writing today…Her radar for people’s eccentricities is exquisite’INDEPENDENT -

‘Witty, astute and delightfully accessible’SUNDAY TIMES -