Nights in a Foreign Country

(hardback 2001, paperback 2002)
Brazil at night
‘It was David who found the apartment for us. I love the name of our street, rue du Dragon, even if the only dragons are the women who shop at the Maud Frizon store a few doors down.’

Wolves stalk the streets of Paris, and concert pianists stalk women who love women in these sensual stories by Jean McNeil. In London, a young woman constructs an imaginary romance in the Once Seen columns; in Brazil, a fading writer tries to revitalise his career by tracking the journey of his more successful rival; beneath the shadow of a volcano a young woman writes of love. Set in Britain, Canada, France and Latin America, each one of these zestful, exhilarating stories is a whole world in itself.

‘By turns sinister and sensual, heartfelt and anguished…McNeil’s vignettes summon an exhilarating sense of nights spent whiling away the hours on the bohemian wild side…Subtly crafted narratives are delivered with control and accomplishment.’ Daily Express
‘Her language is tightly controlled, her characters almost overwhelmingly vivid.’ The Observer
‘Nights on tropical mountains, doomed romance and sharp observation combine powerfully with a taste for exotic metaphor in McNeil’s highly assured debut collection of short stories. McNeil has a talent for portraiture and it is in the lingering moment of metaphor that the pathos which engulfs her characters is most vivid. Pack your passport and enjoy.’ Sunday Times