Torea Frey

Editor, writer, photographer, observer on the street.

The Complete Short Stories, Agnes Owens

My favorite of Owens's stories are the darkly twisted tales like "Arabella," which follows a compellingly detestable woman who pushes her four dogs in a pram and practices some sort of alternative medicine that relies on her own healing brew of excrement and other odds and ends. "The Castle," about two sisters on holiday, is grimly fantastic, as is "Roses," which tells of a bookish woman who can't seem to keep good help around -- but who needs a gardener when you have a green thumb like she does?

For a longer exploration of Owens's work, and her place in Scottish literature, Alasdair Gray's "'Honest poverty' and Agnes Owens at 70" is a good primer.