In June, 2006, Picador launch "Picador Shots", a new series of pocket-sized books priced at GBP1. The "Shots" aim to promote the short story as well as the work of some Picador's greatest authors. They will be contemporarily packaged but ultimately disposable books that are the ideal literary alternative to a magazine. Matthew Kneale's "Powder" is to be one of the first "Picador Shots".One of the stories from his recent collection, "Small Crimes In An Age of Abundance", "Powder" is an effecting, darkly funny story about Peter, a middle of the road, solicitor, who lives in a suburban street in London. His kids are leaving home and he is finding it hard to keep up with the neighbours and his colleagues at work, until, one day on his local common he discovers a large bag with a mobile phone and hundreds of plastic bags full of cocaine inside. What Peter decides to do with this bag, a decision he makes in a split second, will change his life for ever. In "Powder" Matthew Kneale has vividly captured the life on an ordinary person as he struggles to survive and do the 'right thing', and, in the end, managing neither.
Matthew Kneale is the author of English Passengers (shortlisted for the Booker Prize and winner of the Whitbread Book of the Year Award), Mr. Foreigner (winner of the Somerset Maugham Prize), Inside Rose's Kingdom and Sweet Things (Winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize). His short story collection, Small Crimes in an Age of Abundance is published in paperback by Picador in June. He lives in Rome with his wife and two children.