The Lion in the Room Next Door by Merilyn Simonds (Bloomsbury, £6.99, 259pp)
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From the introductory title story ­ a young girl is transported by leonine visions from a labyrinthine Brazilian hotel ­ we're seduced by Simonds's luminous narratives. In Calgary, an adolescent beauty comes to realise the strengths and limits of her sexual power. An American woman's happiness in Delphi is betrayed by the language barrier. Stirred by alcohol and earthquake in Mexico, a woman hesitates between lover and husband, almost losing both. These vignettes have the power and odd lucidity of dreams.