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The stories here collected under the title Five Women combine two different volumes. All together, these stories, each of which (as the reader will guess) has a woman at the apparent centre of its gaze, has the feel of a series study, or of a natural history, though one performed in a strange and not entirely rational laboratory, or field. The intensity in these stories derives in part from looking at humans under the very ordinary extremities of love and desire. Neither love, nor femininity, is the subject matter so much as it is the medium.