PULL MY PIGTAILS. MAKE YOU CRY. FUCK OFF AND GET CANCER. I HOPE YOU DIE. Urban tales of despair and dysfunction are Laura Hird's trademark and she does not disappoint in Hope and Other Urban Tales. Set in the low-rent areas of Edinburgh, Hird's slices of reality are gritty, bleak, and often darkly funny. Yet the possibility of hope, always just out of reach, unifies this collection, conveying that just as circumstances can reveal the morally obscure darkness in "good" people, so can seemingly irredeemable characters harbour well-hidden pockets of humanity.