The Brothers Grimm take lessons in fiction from Angela Carter to produce this uncanny and surreal work. Judy Budnitz might just be the most exciting and unusual literary figure to emerge from the US literary thicket in 2000. She marries great technical skill to quirky humour and dizzying metaphor. She has an uncanny knack for the destabilizing and indelible image, but does not abandon sense for sensibility. She is always readable, albeit strangely so. She might yet be an Americanized heir to the throne left vacant by Angela Carter. This collection of stories is strikingly surreal and hugely entertaining. It will appeal to fans of everyone from Tibor Fischer via Lorrie Moore to Nicholson Baker, or put another way, from Heathers to Edward Scissorhands via Annie Hall. Among the storylines: a young man is persuaded to donate his heart to his dying mother; a girl comes of age in strange suburbia, her only friend a man dressed in a dogsuit; a man and a woman conduct a passionate love affair on a park bench.