The four novellas that make up this book share a common theme- deception and self-deception, practised by or on the protagonists. Each story is told in prose of great assurance, narrated by a brilliantly distinctive voice. The characters include an Anglo-Italian Professor of Semiotics, undone by his own cleverness; an Irishwoman who becomes a novice in a Tibetan nunnery in Nepal; a house party of old university friends that is galvanised by a pugnacious newcomer into a demented Buchanesque mission to restore their hostess's lost honour, and an international lawyer who takes to terrorism in pursuit of a theory. SEVERAL DECEPTIONS is clever, funny, a little cruel. It introduces a writer of quite remarkable gifts.
Jane Stevenson is the author of two collections of novellas, Several Deceptions and Good Women, and four novels, London Bridges, Astraea, The Pretender and The Empress of the Last Days. She is a professor in the history department at Aberdeen University and holds the Regius Chair of Humanity.