From the acclaimed Scottish writer A. L. Kennedy (“If you are at all interested in contemporary fiction, this is work you must not miss”—Richard Ford; “A world-class fiction writer”—Thomas Lynch, New York Times Book Review), a brilliant short-story collection—her first to be published in this country—about adultery and sexual obsession.The twelve stories in Indelible Acts are variations on a theme of longing. A line outside a cheese shop leads to a thrilling infidelity; a funeral exposes a love gone sour; a scene of sickness and despair in a foreign hotel room becomes a metaphor for incurable grief. In “A Bad Son,” a young boy from a damaged home searches for peace, risking his life on a snowy hill. In the title story, two lovers confront their lust amid the ruins of Rome.Each piece in A. L. Kennedy’s mesmerizing collection is an eloquent, excoriating revelation, saved from bleakness by the humanity and humor of the author’s unrelenting wit and by her unwavering scrutiny of desire and loss. Her characters’ lives are dashed, impassioned, each in his or her own way immolated by hope and by the unassuageable human need for contact, for completion, for that most fugitive gift of all: reciprocal love.