Short stories | Independent publishing
Pre-order - publication date 4 November 2021
A woman grows increasingly annoyed by her husband's emails, offering advice and reminders even months after his death... A taxidermist dreams of preserving one of his clients after she takes him out for a coffee... A grieving nurse is troubled by her daughter's fascination with The Iron Lady...
In Safely Gathered In, Sarah Schofield probes at the heart of what forms us and what we, in turn, form. The stories collected here expose the spaces that words often fail to reach and examine how objects - both manmade and natural - can reflect the darkest manifestations of grief and disconnection. From the child acting out a family betrayal in the comfort of her dolls house, to the sister making wind-up toys from the dead birds she finds on her doorstep, this debut collection ventures into the surreal and delivers a sense of unease that leaves us questioning why we gather the things we do.
Sarah Schofield's narrators venture into spaces that language can't reach; we meet characters who create taxidermy pets to stave off loneliness or wind-up birds to deal with loss, and children processing family secrets through their dolls house or imitating Margaret Thatcher after the death of their father. Schofield also pushes the boundaries of literary fiction into science-fiction, with an architect preserving her bactogarden in a time of extreme climate crisis, and one man mistakenly creating an app to fix people's problems while they dream. In this powerful and touching debut collection, Schofield introduces a new and exciting voice to the canon of women's literary fiction.