Treats

By Lara Williams

This is a cracking debut collection of short stories from a young local author. Its vicious little vignettes explore the fabric of modern relationships, as well as reflection on self and the city. These are stories which sting in their sharp yet emotive examination of issues including falling in love, breakups and work with evocative prose dripping with phrases that melt in the memory. “There is no vocabulary for heartbreak,” she says.

Williams serves us bite-sized Treats which tell a truth about modern culture, crammed with cameras, selfies, internet and Instagram. We express ourselves in images and, through brilliant prose, Williams creates them. But these stories also pay homage to Manchester’s legacy as a ‘student city’. Some are written intimately in the second person - “Your new apartment is located in the university district off Oxford Road” - playing on the audience’s awareness of what Manchester means. Clearly inspired by the energy of the place, as well as a bittersweet flashback to student days, you can see how past events in the city surface to create these cutting-edge stories.

Emily Oldfield