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The Dressing-Up Box Reviews

The Dressing-Up Box by David Constantine

The Dressing-Up Box

David Constantine

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Comma Press
Publisher: Comma Press
Publication date: 17 Sep 2019
ISBN: 9781912697212

Against the backdrop of war, a group of children barricade themselves in an abandoned townhouse, cherishing what's left of their innocence with the help of a dressing-up box...

4 stars out of 5
Phil Baker
3 Nov 2019

"this fifth book of superb short fiction confirms an extraordinary talent slowly gaining more mainstream recognition"

As well as being a short-story writer, Constantine is highly respected as a poet and translator, and this fifth book of superb short fiction confirms an extraordinary talent slowly gaining more mainstream recognition: one of his previous tales was adapted into the Oscar-nominated film 45 Years. The havens and refuges in the present collection are something more than escapist, and gain power from Constantine’s engagement with the sadness and atrocity of the real world: these can be spaces of asylum, resistance and even victory.


4 stars out of 5
Ian Sansom
31 Oct 2019

"Subtlety marks every tale in this intelligent, unshowy and often moving collection"

David Constantine is one of very few contemporary writers to have been able to take all sorts of routes and paths and detours and to have produced a coherent body of work over many years in a number of genres and forms... What do they all have in common, these many effusions and activities? What makes them Constantinian? They are all careful, subtle, intelligent works – serious, unshowy, often surprisingly moving. Fans will be delighted to discover that Constantine’s fifth collection of short stories, The Dressing-Up Box, continues in the same mode. The big difference in this book is that many of the stories concern children – and in particular children under threat, from themselves, from other children and from adults.