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Three and a Half Deaths

Three and a Half Deaths by Emma Donoghue
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An accident, a suicide, an act of criminal negligence . . . and a near-death experience. The stories in Emma Donoghue's Three and a Half Deaths - set in France, the USA and Canada - bring together calamities from two centuries.

'What the Driver Saw' is inspired by a freak accident on Nice's Promenade des Anglais, the 1920s equivalent of Princess Diana's last ride through Paris.

'The Trap' takes us to New York, 1878, when a woman at the centre of a public scandal decides that she's finally had enough.

Any thinking about death must of course include its lingering effects on the living; 'Sissy' explores the guilt and culpability of a woman whose young sister died in the 1840s in London, Ontario.

Finally, 'Fall' is about an incident at Niagara Falls in 1901 when a middle-aged schoolteacher staked her whole future on an act so daring it could be called suicidal. A near-death, a sort of rebirth: the kind of moment that makes visible the discreet courage it takes to live a whole life.

Pan Macmillan; December 2011
41 pages; ISBN 9781447213048
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Title: Three and a Half Deaths
Author: Emma Donoghue

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