The Booker Prize--winning author ofPossessionandA Whistling Womanis at her best in this dazzling collection of five new tales. Little Black Book of Storiesoffers shivers along with magical thrills. Leaves rustle underfoot in a dark wood: two middle-aged women walk into a forest, as they did when they were girls, confronting their childhood fears and memories and the strange thing they saw--or thought they saw--so long ago. A distinguished male obstetrician and a young woman artist meet in a hospital, but they have very different ideas about body parts, birth, and death. A man meets the ghost of his living wife; a woman turns to stone. And an innocent member of an evening creative writing class turns out to have her own decided views on the best way to use "raw material." These unforgettable stories are by turns haunting, funny, sparkling, and scary. Byatt'sLittle Black Bookadds a deliciously dark note to her skill in mixing folk and fairy tales with everyday life.