Mrs Vidozza elects to suffer for her gifted, unhinged son; Charles is consumed by the habit of voyeurism; Antonietta succumbs to fascination with a murder she believes she has witnessed; sexuagenarian Daisy suborns herself for the sake of a young girl she imagines as a flower in an otherwise filthy world...In this 1978 collection Hugh Fleetwood gives a name to a theme running through his fictional oeuvre and the fates of his characters: that 'incence' must as soon as possible be supplanted by awareness of the human capacity for horror, so that Beauty and the Beast are reconciled in our consciousness.'Fleetwood can write like a dream... and really get into your head. He reaches down and stirs with vemous delight the nameless, faceless things swimming far below the level of consciousness.' Scotsman
Hugh Fleetwood was born in Chichester, Sussex, in 1944. Aged 21 he moved to Italy and lived there for fourteen years, during which time he exhibited his paintings and wrote a number of novels and story collections, originally published by Hamish Hamilton, beginning with A Painter of Flowers (1972). His second novel, The Girl Who Passed for Normal (1973), won the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize. His fifth, The Order of Death (1977), was adapted into a 1983 film starring Harvey Keitel and John Lydon. In 1978 he published his first collection of short stories, The Beast. Subsequent collections have included Fictional Lives (1980) and The Man Who Went Down With His Ship (1988). He currently lives in London, and continues to work both as writer and painter.