Angela Readman

Don’t Try This at Home

Shortlisted for the 2016 Edge Hill Short Story Prize

A girl repeatedly chops her boyfriend in half but, while her ‘other half’ multiplies, she is still not satisfied. Love transforms a mother working down the chippie – into Elvis. Clary’s father puts antlers on stuffed rabbits to make jackalopes, but when her mother walks out on them, Clary has to help her father if they are to survive.

Beautiful, sharp and fearless, Costa Short Story Award winner Angela Readman’s debut collection is aptly titled, for each story packs its share of explosive material. Exposing all kinds of prejudice – against age, status, disability – the stories also offer quirky new strategies for troubled lives.

If Angela Carter is Readman’s fairy godmother, then David Lynch is her wicked stepbrother. Don’t say you weren’t warned . . .

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More Info

  • Read more about Angela Readman in our author’s section.
  • If you had subscribed to And Other Stories before Don’t Try this at Home went to the printers, you would have received the first edition of the book – in which all subscribers are thanked by name – before its official publication, as well us up to five other And Other Stories titles per year. Find out about subscribing to upcoming titles here.
  • Don’t Try This at Home was shortlisted for the 2016 Edge Hill Short Story Prize. The collection also won Best Short Story Collection at the 2015 Saboteur Awards; the 2015 Rubery Book Award; was longlisted for the 2015 Frank O’Connor Prize; and was winner of the 2013 Costa Short Story Award with The Keeper of the Jackalopes. Congratulations Angela!
Print status: Available
Original language: English
Format: B-format paperback with flaps
Publication date: 7 May 2015
ISBN: 9781908276520
Ebook ISBN: 9781908276537
Availability: World


Toby Litt, author of Hospital and one of Granta magazine’s Best of Young British Novelists

‘Angela Readman’s stories are fantastic, delightful gifts. You don’t open them, they open you. They open you to the amazing, the tragic, the odd and the gorgeous. This is a very special collection.’

Toby Lichtig
Sunday Telegraph

‘Angela Readman’s prose exhibits two complimentary styles: fabulation is rendered deadpan, while wonderfully inventive similes are used to describe the everyday . . . [Her] medium is metaphor writ large . . . Borges, Kafka and Angela Carter will all be reference points, but there is something joyfully distinctive about Readman’s voice . . . Readman’s gift for emotional nuance is every bit as keen as her eye for the surreal.’

Max Liu
The Independent

‘Readman writes with precision. Her stories emit suppressed yearning and she makes poignant comments about loneliness, identity, survival. Angela Carter is an obvious influence but fans of Donald Barthelme and Charles Baudelaire will cherish the emergence of a moral absurdist for our times.’

Sarah Hilary, author of Someone Else’s Skin

‘Sparky, shining writing that zings from the page. Subversive, funny and incisive. A real talent.’