Madame Zero by Sarah Hall
Sarah Hall, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
Sarah Hall is a writer I stumbled across while reviewing books for Things and Ink magazine a few years back. Without delving into the world of self-published erotica, there’s a surprisingly small number of novels with a tattoo theme. Then I discovered The Electric Michelangelo. This has gone on to become one of my favourite books of all time and has led me to devour as much of Sarah Hall’s work as I possibly can.
Madame Zero is a collection of short stories, including her BBC National Short Story Award-winning tale, Mrs Fox. Every one of these nine stories centres around identity. Hall questions what makes us who we are with psychology, sexuality and a poetic touch. Is it society? How we are raised? Or whatever chemicals are rushing through our brain at a certain moment?
One of Sarah Hall’s talents is being able to write something so dark and cutting in such a beautiful way you can’t help but admire how disturbing it is. Whether it’s a husband admiring his wife after she turns in to a fox or a small boy with no sense of himself after being raised in a commune, there is always a dark undertone to these tales that I simply adore. She tricks you as a reader, especially during the last story in the collection. You think the story is going in one direction, a passionate explosion of a relationship, only to pull the rug from under you with the reason. Sarah Hall can never be accused of being predictable.
Look no further for unique, thought-provoking stories you’ll never forget as Madame Zero is it.
If you like this then you’ll love The Electric Michelangelo by Sarah Hall.