Salley Vickers’s first novel, Miss Garnet’s Angel, the story of a reserved, elderly woman who travels to Venice after the death of her companion, was a best seller in 2000. Since then, Vickers – a Jungian psychotherapist and past lecturer in English literature at Oxford University – has published five other novels, including Where Three Roads Meet, a re-imagination of the Oedipus myth and Dancing Backwards, in 2009.
Last year, Aphrodite’s Hat, Vickers’s long-awaited collection of short stories, was published. Evidencing Vickers’s uncanny ability to explore and depict psychological machinations, each story considers the pervasive inf luence of love in the lives of memorable characters: a lovesick ghost haunting a Roman hotel; a middle-aged man considering the betrayal of his wife; a small child seeking nurture in the home of a neighbour. Aphrodite’s Hat continues Vickers’ characteristic erudite representation of foreign locales, capturing their atmosphere and tenor in subtle yet impressive prose.
Salley recently spoke with Kill Your Darlings about her move to the short form, and how her training in psychotherapy has affected her writing.
– Hannah Kent
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