The Most Serene Republic

Two people find love through a chance meeting in the streets of Antwerp. An English sea captain is unfaithful in the Guayaquil of 1910. In the south of France a famous Frenchman looks after his soldier-brother’s violin; in Germany a group struggles to save a Jewish cemetery from developers. High above the Thames, a secretary and a clerk share dreams of exotic places. One morning at breakfast a couple express their jealousies through arguing the merits of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. In the title story holidaymakers in Venice experience how differently love may be made.

In the atmosphere of the cities themselves — cities as far apart as Nice, Milton Keynes and Lima — a dozen stories of people pursuing their obsessions and desires unfold. In one love is flourishing in Hamburg, in another dying in London, in a third simply glimpsed on a day of public unrest in Paris. The Most Serene Republic: Love Stories from Cities tells movingly of love in its many guises.

John Saul's short fiction has been published not only in the UK but in Australia, Canada, France, Germany and Ireland; in the prestigious New Writing series and several anthologies brought out by Serpent’s Tail. His previous collection Call It Tender was described by The Times as ‘witty and playful’, proof that ‘the short story is not only alive but being reinvigorated in excitingly diverse ways’.