In my childhood (??? sorry, it was over 30 years ago...) I've got a book from my local library with short novels, I suppose by Ursula Le Guin. Some stories I remember:

  1. there was a man living in a woods, who ended up getting a swan for his wife,
  2. there was an old music teacher who gets lost in a city (as if dead) getting to a concert of metal band, she gets out led by a tiger
  3. there is a modern story about a mermaid and a lighthouse(?) (this one I am no 100% sure about the plot)
  • 3
    Could the author have been Joan Aiken? Story 1 reminds me of "The Third Wish" by her. Jan 13 at 15:41

1 Answer 1


As Clara Diaz Sanchez mentioned this is an anthology by Joan Aiken "Not what you expected" anthology published in Poland as "Pokój pełen liści"/"A Room Full of Leaves" in 1987 by Nasza Księgarnia.

  • 3
    Could you give the titles of the short stories? (in particular, I'm curious about the one about the mermaid and the lighthouse). Jan 13 at 17:12
  • 2
    Another possibility is Siren Stories, also by Joan Aiken . It contains "The third Wish", about a man that wishes for a beautiful wife, only to find out she used to be a swan. "Some music for the wicked Countess" about a music teacher that gets abducted to an enchanted castle, and "One Mermaid too many" about a fisherman that has a mermaid in a bottle. They are not perfect matches though. I don't remember any tigers in the music one and the fisherman does not live in a lighthouse, but in an old house on Lighthouse Lane. Still it is rather close. Jan 13 at 18:10
  • 2
    Story 2 (the music teacher and the tiger) must surely be "Hope", which means that the anthology can only be "Not What You Expected" (according to isfdb). But the "mermaid and lighthouse" story intrigues me. Jan 13 at 18:26
  • the Polish edition is a compilation from different anthologies. I've just bought it :) the smell of childhood... I'll let you know when I read it - if my memory was right about mermaid
    – 108adams
    Jan 16 at 16:45

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