gettyimages-72568271“At first, these Claires seem strikingly different: the first Claire we meet is a newsreader with shiny hair, the next a university graduate back at home, preparing for a cousin’s wedding at which she is “not maid of honour, not even a bridesmaid”, trying to sew herself a dress that will “upstage the bridal gown without appearing to do so”. But similarities begin to appear: Claire is often an academic, or a humanities student; often anxious about her interpersonal relationships. There are affairs between a schoolgirl-aged Claire and her teacher, seemingly accepted by her mother. One story about a Claire who reads English at an Oxbridge-like university ends with her at “the Union” surrounded by “black tie and coke”, the next begins with a Claire “studying art history as a pretext for drinking too much” and, when she could afford it, taking cocaine in the “Union bar” – but stark distinctions soon become apparent, too. And there are surprises: in one story, a refreshingly straightforward, unburdened character is revealed to be a robot.”

Anna Leskiewicz reviews The Voice in My Ear in the New Statesman

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