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Story: And So It Begins

Song: “I Think I Need A New Heart” by Magnetic Fields

A lot of the characters in Treats are dreamily passive, idealistic but apathetic; allowing things to sort of happen to them, narrativizing themselves within their circumstances. I wanted to set the theme and tone of the collection with this story, and so something from the wryly self-conscious 69 Love Songs seems an appropriate opener.  

Story: A Lover’s Guide To Meeting Shy Girls; Or; Break Up Record

Song: “This Boy Is Exhausted” by The Wrens

The character in this story, Devon, struggles for seven years to create the perfect breakup album, never quite getting there. While I had in mind he was making something closer to that of Washed Out or Memory Tapes (long live chillwave), This Boy Is Exhausted from the (almost) perfect breakup-album The Meadowlands seems a more fitting pick.

Story: One Of Those Life Things

Song: “Blue in Green” by Miles Davis

I wanted to write about a creeping realisation of trauma. This song is playing in the background at a certain point within the story, it feels like the sort of song you could half-remember, half-hear; not sure if it’s even playing at all. 

Story: Both Boys

Song: “Can’t Feel My Face” by The Weeknd

The unnamed character in this story hooks up with two boys on the same night, I imagine, at a party. And this is the last song I really enjoyed listening to at a party.

Story: Where I Am Supposed To Be

Song: “This Is Me” by Demi Lovato + Joe Jonas

This is from the Camp Rock original soundtrack.

Story: This Small Written Thing (read it here)

Song: “Smackwater Jack” by Carole King

The protagonist in this story struck me as a woman who would really like Carole King.

Story: Beautiful Existence

Song: “Birds” by Electrelane

The character in this story becomes increasingly maddened by the birds cheaping outside her window. Fuck those birds. This is my anti-Jonathan Franzen story.

Story: It’s A Shame About Ray

Song: “It’s A Shame About Ray” by The Lemonheads


Story: Dates

Song: “It’s Not The End Of The World” by Super Furry Animals

My first legitimate date was to see Super Furry Animals. I think they were touring Rings Around The World. All (both) of my life’s boyfriends were also there, but I didn’t know them yet. Also, I think this is a very romantic song.

Story: Treats

Song: “Silent Sigh” by Badly Drawn Boy

Another theme (indeed , the titular theme of the book!) I wanted to explore was parsing our experiences via singular apparently significant moments, the sweet, ephemeral nature of them (i.e. treats). Tried to think of a song that’s a bit of treat to hear, and was quite surprised (nay, horrified) when this sprung to mind.

Story: Taxidermy

Song: “Dig, Lazarus, Dig!” by Nick Cave

Bit about “rebirth” this one, I suppose.

Story: Penguins

Song: “Bump n’ Grind” by R. Kelly

This is my penguin-sex story and I’m not really sure what song should go here.

Story: Toxic Shock Syndrome

Song: “My Body” by Perfume Genius

This is story about bodies, betrayals of the body, assumptions about your body, and also, about being pleasured by a stranger on a plane.

Story: Here’s To You

Song: “Why Don’t You Get A Job?” by The Offspring

This story references the singer (Dexter Holland!)’s brand of hot sauce: Gringo Bandito. I flip-flopped between this and the one with Zooey Deschanel in the video, but this got it for the excellent gender politics.

Story: Sundaes At The Tipping Yard

Song: “Favorite Writer” by Magnapop

My friend described this story as “so on the nose it’s a nose”, which I take exception to. It’s partially about learning to write, and so this is fitting in both tone (drippy) and content (writer).

Story: A Single Lady’s Manual for Parent/ Teacher Evening

Song: “Mama Said” by The Shirelles

“They never leave their wives” is something my mum once said.

Story: The Getting Of The Cat

Song: “Me An My Friend The Cat” by Loudon Wainwright II

There are a lot of cats in this collection, though I am allergic to them. I’ve never cried about that, but given the right circumstances, I believe I could. This is a good song off an otherwise absurdly sexist album.

Story: As Understood By The Women

Song: “Rebel Girl” by Bikini Kill

I really wanted Bikini Kill somewhere on the playlist.

Story: Penguins

Song: “7/4 Shoreline” by Broken Social Scene

I was struggling with this one, but, tributaries, shorelines, etc. Please buy the book.

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Purchase / explore TREATS:

Freight Books | Goodreads | Amazon (UK)

Read a story from the collection:



a story-by-story playlist for Lara Williams’ debut collection
“i’ll know tomorrow 
not to put my feelings 
out on display”

“What a wonderful collection. Very smart and VERY funny. A stunning mix of measured wisdom and raw emotion. There's also a real sense that these stories - beautiful in their own right - belong together. I loved the connection between them, and the way ideas were subtle and steadily developed from beginning to end”     — Emma Jane Unsworth, author of Animals