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She is momentarily furious. Hasn't she seen at five the red blood of fishes? Hasn't she dipped her fingers in their guts, watched them tug at life on her father's lap, seen them laid out in silver like a cut dream?

In a magnetic follow-up to Winter Animals, Ashani Lewis takes a delightfully candid approach to facets of desire and loneliness, cut through with breath-taking lyricism.

Lewis' debut short story collection creates a stark world of fleeting infatuations, violent compulsions, unexpected solace and the sombre ghost of memories. A dying woman dedicates her life to Antarctic ice; a romance ends with an imitation oyster; a man believes the mother of his child has become a witch; the potential success of a marriage is indistinguishable from a couple's hike of Everest - in these striking stories, Lewis takes a kaleidoscopic, unforgiving look at love: its obsessions, its grotesque demands and the distance it creates between us.

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