Sarah Hall, photo credit: Richard Thwaites  


Madame Zero

'So fearsomely excellent it almost hurt to read. Truly the best collection Iíve come across in a decade.'
- Wells Tower

Madame Zero
Sarah Hall

Publication date: July 2017

She is running and becoming smaller, running and becoming smaller, running in the light of the reddening sun, the red of her hair and her coat falling, the red of her fur and her body loosening. Running. Holding behind her a sudden, brazen object, white-tipped. Her yellow scarf trails in the briar. All vestiges shed.

Sarah Hall is one of the most daring, rewarding, and original writers at work today. Already acclaimed as prize-winning novelist, she is now just as feted as a radically gifted short story writer.

Madame Zero is a book of sometimes conflicting landscapes - rural, industrial, psychological - all of which are hauntingly resonant with dread. Whether set in an apocalyptic storm, local swimming pool, or surgical theatre, Hall's stories always inhabit the hinterland between the natural and urban, the mundane and surreal, human and animal.

From a wife's hidden sexual desires to a girl's secret phobias, Hall has a disturbing way of illuminating our buried impulses and sometimes occult motives. Marked by a fascination with the intimacy of nature - and the nature of intimacy - Madame Zero is the candescent new collection from an author twice nominated for the Man Booker Prize.

Meet the Author
The Observer, 2nd July 2017:


'A perfect balance of language and content, poised at the magical midway point between the distillation of poetry and the vicariousness of prose' The Los Angeles Review of Books

'A collection to savour' Metro

'Hall's gamey phrase-making reeks of soil and sweat.' The Daily Telegraph

'Exceptional short stories' The Guardian

'Stunning... Hall is as bold with her pen as her character Evie is with her new-found sensuality, there's nothing furtive about these brilliant stories. Each one is a leap into a dark, mysterious void that ultimately reveals glittering terrors therein.' The Independent

'These powerful stories are dazzling in range and execution' Mail on Sunday

'The undercurrents of sensuality implicit in Hallís prose finally swell into a powerful eroticism in the concluding story, EvieÖ Hall distinguishes herself across an extraordinary range of stories, in full command of a protean style which adapts itself easily to each situation and narrator. Her prose, which can seem both understated and lushly evocative at the same time, haunts and sometimes unsettles.' Herald

'So fearsomely excellent it almost hurt to read. Truly the best collection Iíve come across in a decade.' Wells Tower

'The erotic charge of Hall's writing, its fierce physical power, coexists with her characters' sense of separation: each is a world entire, and they retain their depth, their mystery.' Guardian

'Lyrical, beautiful and curiously uplifting ... Joyous fragility characterises [her writing] which weighs sense and sensuality, order and chaos, with sumptuous grace.' The Independent

'In these darkly erotic and earthily haunting tales, Sarah Hall has created a kind of twenty-first century ghost story; a story in which we are the ghosts in our own machines, haunted by the damage we do to ourselves. In language rooted in the soil but elevated by dreams and visions, these stories leave the reader unsettled, thrilled and changed. This is a marvellous piece of work.' Jon McGregor

Introduction & News | Haweswater | The Electric Michelangelo | The Carhullan Army | How to Paint a Dead Man | The Beautiful Indifference | The Wolf Border | Interviews & Profiles
Readings | Teaching | Journalism | Other Publications | Art and Song inspired links | CV | Photographs | Links | Contact Us