Book Review

Cat Brushing: Short story collection showcases the wisdom of advanced years

At almost 80, Jane Campbell’s road to eventual literary note has been a long one – but her debut collection is hugely impressive

Cat Brushing, the short-story debut by Jane Campbell, explores the experiences of older women as they move through our own and other slightly more futuristic or dystopian worlds. Picture: Betsie van der Meer

It seems as though each day sees another talented young voice deliver a much-hyped novel, which is why a debut collection of short stories from a writer in their 80th year is such an unusually exciting prospect.

Jane Campbell, a former analyst, teacher and lecturer, sent a tale called Cat Brushing to the London Review of Books in 2017. Now it’s the title work of her first publication, which explores the experiences of older women ...