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Bad Dreams and Other Stories Audiobook, by Tessa Hadley Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Tessa Hadley Narrator: Emma Gregory Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2017 ISBN: 9780062681942
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The award-winning author of The Past once again "crystallizes the atmosphere of ordinary life in prose somehow miraculous and natural" (Washington Post), in a collection of stories that elevate the mundane into the exceptional.

The author of six critically acclaimed novels, Tessa Hadley has proven herself to be the champion of revealing the hidden depths in the deceptively simple. In these short stories it’s the ordinary things that turn out to be most extraordinary: the history of a length of fabric or a forgotten jacket.

Two sisters quarrel over an inheritance and a new baby; a child awake in the night explores the familiar rooms of her home, made strange by the darkness; a housekeeper caring for a helpless old man uncovers secrets from his past. The first steps into a turning point and a new life are made so easily and carelessly: each of these stories illuminate crucial moments of transition, often imperceptible to the protagonists.

A girl accepts a lift in a car with some older boys; a young woman reads the diaries she discovers while housesitting. Small acts have large consequences, some that can reverberate across decades; private fantasies can affect other people, for better and worse. The real things that happen to people, the accidents that befall them, are every bit as mysterious as their longings and their dreams.

Bad Dreams and Other Stories demonstrates yet again that Tessa Hadley "puts on paper a consciousness so visceral, so fully realized, it heightens and expands your own. She is a true master" (Lily King, author of Euphoria).

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Gregory, with her impressive range of Anglo­phone accents—differentiated by age, region, country—is the ideal conduit for these ten exquisite stories. Loss of innocence looms large in many of the pieces, and uncomfortable revelations (or their denial) plague characters throughout. Hadley nimbly captures everyday moments and with masterly agility shows them to be pivotal, course-changing, and life-transforming.”

    Library Journal (starred audio review)

  • “Every story in this collection is beautiful, precise, expansive, and a joy.”

    Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Marvelous…Every situation captivates; every carefully chosen word rings true.”


  • “These consummately crafted tales reveal Hadley’s unflinching audacity and her peerless gift for revealing ourselves as we are, not as we wish to be.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “In subtly insightful and observant prose, Hadley writes brilliantly of the words and gestures that pass unnoticed ‘in the intensity of [the] present’ but echo without cease.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Achingly lovely, though never sentimental, Hadley’s collection renders common lives with exquisite grace.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • A New York Times Notable Book of 2017
  • A 2017 NPR Best Book of the Year
  • A Library Journal Best Audiobook of 2017

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About the Author

Tessa Hadley is the author of several highly praised novels, Accidents in the Home, which was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, Everything Will Be All Right, The Master Bedroom, and The London Train, as well as two short story collections. She lives in Cardiff and teaches literature and creative writing at Bath Spa University. Her stories appear regularly in The New Yorker, Granta and other magazines.

About the Narrator

Emma Gregory has enjoyed an extensive and varied career. Some of her many radio titles include The Diary Of Samuel Pepys, Don Quixote (with Paul Schofield), The Bell, In the Native State (with Peggy Ashcroft), Dombey and Son, The Quatermass Memoirs (with Andrew Keir), and Great Expectations. She has also recorded Shakespeare on CD for Riverrun Productions and the soundtrack of The Beggars Opera for the Royal Shakespeare Company. She works regularly as a voice-over artist for various companies, including the History and Biography channels.