Don't Try This At Home

A girl repeatedly chops her boyfriend in half but, while her ‘other half’ multiplies, she is still not satisfied. Love transforms a mother working down the chippie – into Elvis. Clary’s father puts antlers on stuffed rabbits to make jackalopes, but when her mother walks out on them, Clary has to help her father if they are to survive.
Beautiful, sharp and fearless, Costa Short Story Award winner Angela Readman’s debut collection is aptly titled, for each story packs its share of explosive material. Exposing all kinds of prejudice – against age, status, disability – the stories also offer quirky new strategies for troubled lives.


‘Angela Readman’s stories are fantastic, delightful gifts. You don’t open them, they open you. They open you to the amazing, the tragic, the odd and the gorgeous. This is a very special collection.’ — Toby Litt, author of Hospital and one of Granta magazine’s Best of Young British Novelists

‘Readman writes with precision. Her stories emit suppressed yearning and she makes poignant comments about loneliness, identity, survival. Angela Carter is an obvious influence but fans of Donald Barthelme and Charles Baudelaire will cherish the emergence of a moral absurdist for our times.’ — Max Liu, The Independent

‘In a fantastical world of witches, saints and talking toys, Angela Readman’s characters struggle to escape the prison of their all-too-real circumstances. A wonderful, wonder-full debut collection.’ — Adam Marek, author of Instruction Manual for Swallowing


Winner of Best Short Story Collection at the 2015 Saboteur Awards
Shortlisted for the 2016 Edge Hill Short Story Prize

Rights Profile

Rights Available
World, all languages, excluding Catalan and Spanish

Original Language

Samples Available
Full text available in English



Publication Date

May 2015


Don't Try This At Home on the And Other Stories website