The shortest of the Award nominees and not, to be honest, one that says ‘award-winner’ to me on its own terms; it’s good, yes, but it doesn’t knock my socks off. A couple take afternoon tea at a seaside hotel; she has brought him to admire a frieze there; he can’t appreciate it, because he refuses to separate the artwork from the criminal actions of the artist. Simmering beneath this immediate argument is a wider difference in worldview, exemplified in the text by the lengthy, discursive passages associated with the woman (such as the opening, when she admires the graceful movements of surfers out at sea), and the man’s terser dialogue. Constantine’s story is an effective and economical portrait of the central couple’s relationship; but it strikes me as good rather than excellent.