Since the publication of Secrets and Other Stories in 1977, Bernard MacLaverty has been celebrated as one of the finest living short-story writers. Writing in the New York Times, William Boyd summoned the shades of Yeats, Joyce and Flann O'Brien, insisting that `MacLaverty sits perfectly comfortably' in their company. The Guardian simply said `MacLaverty is a master.' Melding his native Irish sensibilities to those of his adopted west-coast Scotland, these tales attend to life's big events: love and loss, separation and violence, death and betrayal. But the stories teem with smaller significant moments too - private epiphanies, chilling exchanges, intimate encounters. A writer of great compassion, insight and humanity, MacLaverty surprises us time and again with the sensitivity of his ear, the accuracy of his eye. Each of these extraordinary stories - with their wry, self-deprecating humour, their elegance and subtle wisdom - gets to the very heart of life. The Collected Short Stories includes most of Secrets, A Time to Dance, The Great Profundo, Walking the Dog and Matters of Life & Death.