Marina Warner

Fly Away Home

Short stories

First published: UK: Salt 2015

A collection of following short stories:

‘Item, One Tortoiseshell Bag’, AnOther Magazine (2014)
‘A Chatelaine in the Making’, (2010)
‘Red Lightning’, written for the Staffordshire Hoard appeal National Art Collection Fund, 2010)
‘See No Evil’, (2010)
‘Item, One Tortoiseshell Bag’, AnOther Magazine (2014)
‘Forget My Fate’, in Midsummer Nights, ed. by Jeanette Winterson (London: Quercus, 2009)
‘Mélusine: A Mermaid’s Tale’, in Les Théatres Immobiles, ed. by Marie-Claude Brunhoff, René de Ceccatty (Paris: Seuil, 2008)
‘After the Fox’, in Don’t Know a Good Thing: The Asham Award Collection (London: Bloomsbury, 2006)
‘Ladybird, Ladybird’, (2005)


A long-awaited new collection of Marina Warner’s short stories. Like her award-winning novels, Marina Warner’s stories conjure up mysteries and wonders in a physical world, treading a delicate, magical line between the natural and the supernatural, between openness and fear.

Fly Away Home included in the longlist for Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2016, more information can be found here.


'Marina Warner, distinguished scholar of fairytale and myth, is on familiar territory in her third book of short stories. As in her earlier collections, many of the pieces here transpose folk-tale tropes to the present day.'

- Imogen West-Knights in The Financial Times, 4th December 2015

'The always excellent Marina Warner ranges through eras, from art history to myth, and from fiction to non-fiction, to produce a collection of mostly modern-set stories where central characters are searching for something. Loss or lack results in desire, and it's a different kind of desire that marks every one of the storytellers here.

Rosemary Goring in The Herald Scotland on 4th October 2015.

'Dame Marina Warner's non-fiction is deeply concerned with myths, legends and fairytales. In this collection of magical haunting short stories, ordinary situations are infused with strangeness, and the nursery-rhyme title suggests a common theme of loss and longing.'

Kate Saunders,The Sunday Times Book Review, 17th October 2015

With their unique blend of ancient myth and contemporary concerns, Warner's stories are often dark, always gripping, with unexpected flashes of humour and clashes of the real and the supernatural. The legendary Mélusine is transformed into an iPhone-wielding, sassy mermaid in a parable on desire and identity. When the relationship between a young dancer and her maverick patron takes a sinister turn, the girl escapes into an alternative world through the chinoiserie pattern on her curtains. Questions of gender and feminism, never far from the surface, are explored in a fresh manner. Warner's writing is at its strongest when it eschews abstraction in favour of the physical – descriptions of human bodies, shimmering underwater creatures, miniature charms with talismanic powers. These are darkly glittering fairytales for our times.

The Lady, 16th October 2015

In keeping with her academic interests, Warner's short fiction is a salmagundi of exotic settings, odd characters and lofty references. '

Suzi Feay published in The Guardian, 08th October 2015

First published by Salt, 2015