For example, the first story, “Sorry to Disturb,” seems as if it could be a chapter from Mantel’s Eight Months on Ghazzah Street. It is about an English woman living in Saudi Arabia who has troubles with a Pakistani man she befriends. Several other stories refer to physical ailments that she talks about in her memoir Giving Up the Ghost. Another story, “Terminus,” is about seeing the ghost of her father on the subway. But of course, many writers’ fiction has an element of the autobiographical.
The title story has more than a hint of the absurd. In the story, an apartment owner is held hostage by a sniper who is waiting for Margaret Thatcher to emerge from the hospital below her window. The hostage, who doesn’t like Thatcher either, begins helping with the planned attack and escape.
All of these stories are impeccably written, some are haunting, and all reflect the workings of an unusual mind.