It should come as no surprise that short stories by the author of the magical Possession are populated by erudite paranoiacs, witches, changelings, and the ghost of a dead child. A S Byatt's short fictions explore the fragile ties between generations, the dizzying abyss of loss and the elaborate memories we construct against it, resulting in a book that compels us to inhabit other lives and returns us to our own with new knowledge, compassion, and a sense of wonder.
Then the last one, 11, which gives the collection its title, and from which
the cover pictures derive. It chiefly reverts to theme of family history, inter-generational relations, development.