cover image JIGS & REELS


Joanne Harris, . . Morrow, $24.95 (273pp) ISBN 978-0-06-059013-0

Harris, author of the bestsellers Chocolat and Holy Fools , delivers 22 sharp and wickedly provocative stories. In "Faith and Hope Go Shopping," two elderly women dream of escaping their nursing home and trading in their leatherette slip-ons for the perfect pair of Jimmy Choos. The narrator of "A Place in the Sun" goes to desperate lengths to penetrate the all-exclusive Platinum Sands beach, from which everyone but the "infinitely sexy, ultimately desirable" is barred. In "The Ugly Sister," Harris casts one of Cinderella's stepsisters in a sympathetic light, bringing an equally notorious and misunderstood fairy tale character into the picture to steal her heart. The protagonist of "Come in, Mr. Lowry, Your Number Is Up!" wins the lottery and spends his money recklessly only to discover that the ominous thing he truly wants he cannot buy. And when Angela K, the 29-year-old society columnist of "Hello, Goodbye" covers a celebrity funeral, she comes to understand the bizarre attraction of death and the twisted emotions that often accompany it. With themes ranging from ageism to magic and the harrowing intricacies of relationships, Harris's varied tales capture and magnify our hopes and flaws. Agent, Howard Morhaim. (Sept.)

Forecast: Known for her sensual food-centered tales—though Holy Fools dabbled in darker waters—Harris makes a sharp turn into the frothy and clever; this may dismay some old fans, but win her new ones.