The BBC National Short Story Award 2017

Free Sample

There is in the short story, at its most characteristic, something we do not often find in the novel, Frank O’Connor wrote, ‘an intense awareness of human loneliness.’

The stories shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award with BookTrust 2017 all feature characters that are disconnected, willingly or unwillingly, from those around them: a mysterious out-of-towner is shunned by her new colleagues; a grieving husband retreats into his old compulsion for hoarding; a promising academic risks his career for a casual liaison with a younger man. And whether we follow the characters’ need to be alone – like the fisherman drifting dangerously far from shore – or trace it back to its root – like the daughter burying her violent father – what we find there is always unexpected.

Jenni Fagan, Benjamin Markovits and Helen Oyeyemi, three of Granta’s recent ‘20 under 40’, are joined by critic and novelist, Will Eaves and Wales Book of the Year Fiction Prize winner, Cynan Jones on the 2017 shortlist.

This year’s shortlist was selected by authors Eimear McBride, Jon McGregor and Sunjeev Sahota, as well as BBC Radio’s Di Speirs and acclaimed novelist Joanna Trollope who chaired the panel and introduces the collection.

Read more

About the author

Will Eaves was born in Bath in 1967 and educated at Beechen Cliff Comprehensive and King’s College, Cambridge. He worked for twenty years as a journalist and was the Arts Editor of the Times Literary Supplement from 1995 to 2011. He teaches in the Writing Programme at the University of Warwick. He is the author of four novels: The Oversight (Picador, 2001; shortlisted for the Whitbread – now Costa – First Novel Award), Nothing To Be Afraid Of (Picador, 2005; shortlisted for the Encore Award), This Is Paradise (Picador, 2012), and The Absent Therapist (CB Editions, 2014; shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize); and two collections of poetry: Sound Houses (Carcanet, 2011) and The Inevitable Gift Shop (CB Editions, 2016; shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry). 

Jenni Fagan was born in Livingston, Scotland, and lives in Edinburgh. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and was shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize, the Desmond Elliott Prize, and the James Tait Black Prize for her debut novel The Panoptican (2012). In 2013, she was selected as one of Granta’s Best Young British Young Novelists and appointed as a writer-in-residence at the University of Edinburgh. The Sunlight Pilgrims (2016) is her second novel.

Cynan Jones was born near Aberaeron on the west coast of Wales in 1975. He is the author of five novels, The Long Dry, Everything I Found on the Beach, The Dig, Bird, Blood, Snow and Cove. His work is widely translated, and short stories have appeared on BBC Radio 4 and in a number of anthologies and publications including Granta Magazine and The New Yorker. He also scripted an episode of the television crime drama Hinterland. He has won a Betty Trask Award, the Wales Book of the Year Fiction Prize, and a Jerwood Fiction Prize, and a chapter of The Dig was shortlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award in 2013. His latest novel Cove is currently longlisted for the Europese Literatuurprijs (in the Netherlands).

Benjamin Markovits grew up in Texas, London, Oxford and Berlin. He left an unpromising career as a professional basketball player to study the Romantics – an experience he wrote about in Playing Days, a novel. Since then he has taught high school English, worked at a left-wing cultural magazine, and written essays, stories and reviews for, among other publications, The New York Times, Esquire, Granta, The Guardian, The London Review of Books and The Paris Review. He has published seven novels, including Either Side of Winter, about a New York private school, and a trilogy on the life of Lord Byron: Imposture, A Quiet Adjustment and Childish Loves. His most recent novel, You Don’t Have To Live Like This, about an experimental community in Detroit, won the James Tait Black Prize for Fiction in 2015. In 2009 he was a fellow of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard and won a Pushcart Prize for his short story Another Sad, Bizarre Chapter in Human History. Granta selected him as one of the Best of Young British Novelists in 2013. Markovits lives in London and is married, with a daughter and a son. He teaches Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Helen Oyeyemi is the author of several highly acclaimed novels, including The Icarus Girl (2005); The Opposite House (2007); White is for Witching (2009), which won a Somerset Maugham Award and was a Shirley Jackson Award finalist; Mr Fox (2011) and Boy, Snow, Bird (2014), which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her short story collection, What is not yours is not yours was published in 2016 and won the PEN Open Book Award. Helen was selected as one of Granta's Best Young British Novelists in 2013. 

Read more

Reviews

Loading...

Additional information

Publisher
Comma Press
Read more
Published on
Sep 18, 2017
Read more
Pages
144
Read more
ISBN
9781910974353
Read more
Features
Read more
Language
English
Read more
Genres
Fiction / Anthologies (multiple authors)
Fiction / Short Stories (single author)
Literary Collections / General
Read more
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on E Ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help Centre instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
Jenni Fagan
The stunning new novel from the highly-acclaimed author of The Panopticon

It's November of 2020, and the world is freezing over. Each day colder than the last.
There's snow in Israel, the Thames is overflowing, and an iceberg separated from the Fjords in Norway is expected to drift just off the coast of Scotland. As ice water melts into the Atlantic, frenzied London residents evacuate by the thousands for warmer temperatures down south. But not Dylan. Grieving and ready to build life anew, he heads north to bury his mother's and grandmother's ashes on the Scottish islands where they once lived. 

Hundreds of miles away, twelve-year-old Estella and her survivalist mother, Constance, scrape by in the snowy, mountainous Highlands, preparing for a record-breaking winter. Living out of a caravan, they spend their days digging through landfills, searching for anything with restorative and trading value. When Dylan arrives in their caravan park in the middle of the night, life changes course for Estella and Constance. Though the weather worsens, his presence brings a new light to daily life, and when the ultimate disaster finally strikes, they'll all be ready. 

Written in incandescent, dazzling prose, The Sunlight Pilgrims is a visionary story of courage and resilience in the midst of nature's most violent hour; by turns an homage to the portentous beauty of our natural world, and to just how strong we can be, if the will and the hope is there, to survive its worst. 


- NPR “Best Books of 2016” – Family Matters, Identity & Culture, Science Fiction & Fantasy, and Tales from Around the World
Zane
Helen Oyeyemi
Winner of the PEN Open Book Award
An NPR Best Book of 2016
A Washington Post Notable Fiction Pick
A PBS NewsHour Best Book of 2016
A Slate Best Book of the Year
One of Esquire Magazine’s Best Books of 2016
One of Oprah.com’s 10 Favorite Books of 2016

"Transcendent." —The New York Times Book Review

"Flawless. . . another masterpiece from an author who seems incapable of writing anything that's less than brilliant." —NPR

From the award-winning author of Boy, Snow, Bird and Mr. Fox comes an enchanting collection of intertwined stories.
 
Playful, ambitious, and exquisitely imagined, What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours is cleverly built around the idea of keys, literal and metaphorical. The key to a house, the key to a heart, the key to a secret—Oyeyemi’s keys not only unlock elements of her characters’ lives, they promise further labyrinths on the other side. In “Books and Roses” one special key opens a library, a garden, and clues to at least two lovers’ fates. In “Is Your Blood as Red as This?” an unlikely key opens the heart of a student at a puppeteering school. “‘Sorry’ Doesn’t Sweeten Her Tea” involves a “house of locks,” where doors can be closed only with a key—with surprising, unobservable developments. And in “If a Book Is Locked There’s Probably a Good Reason for That Don't You Think,” a key keeps a mystical diary locked (for good reason).
 
Oyeyemi’s tales span multiple times and landscapes as they tease boundaries between coexisting realities. Is a key a gate, a gift, or an invitation? What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours captivates as it explores the many possible answers.
Helen Oyeyemi
As seen on the cover of the New York Times Book Review, where it was described as “gloriously unsettling… evoking Toni Morrison, Haruki Murakami, Angela Carter, Edgar Allan Poe, Gabriel García Márquez, Chris Abani and even Emily Dickinson,” and already one of the year’s most widely acclaimed novels:

“Helen Oyeyemi has fully transformed from a literary prodigy into a powerful, distinctive storyteller…Transfixing and surprising.”—Entertainment Weekly (Grade: A)

“I don’t care what the magic mirror says; Oyeyemi is the cleverest in the land…daring and unnerving… Under Oyeyemi’s spell, the fairy-tale conceit makes a brilliant setting in which to explore the alchemy of racism, the weird ways in which identity can be transmuted in an instant — from beauty to beast or vice versa.” – Ron Charles, The Washington Post

From the prizewinning author of What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, coming February 2016, the Snow White fairy tale brilliantly recast as a story of family secrets, race, beauty, and vanity.

In the winter of 1953, Boy Novak arrives by chance in a small town in Massachusetts looking, she believes, for beauty—the opposite of the life she’s left behind in New York. She marries Arturo Whitman, a local widower, and becomes stepmother to his winsome daughter, Snow.

A wicked stepmother is a creature Boy never imagined she’d become, but elements of the familiar tale of aesthetic obsession begin to play themselves out when the birth of Boy’s daughter, Bird, who is dark-skinned, exposes the Whitmans as light-skinned African-Americans passing for white. And even as Boy, Snow, and Bird are divided, their estrangement is complicated by an insistent curiosity about one another. In seeking an understanding that is separate from the image each presents to the world, Boy, Snow, and Bird confront the tyranny of the mirror to ask how much power surfaces really hold. 

Dazzlingly inventive and powerfully moving, Boy, Snow, Bird is an astonishing and enchanting novel. With breathtaking feats of imagination, Helen Oyeyemi confirms her place as one of the most original and dynamic literary voices of our time.
Helen Oyeyemi
Winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Fiction
One of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists

From the prizewinning young writer of What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, a brilliant and inventive story of love, lies, and inspiration.

Fairy-tale romances end with a wedding, and the fairy tales don't get complicated. In this book, the celebrated writer Mr. Fox can't stop himself from killing off the heroines of his novels, and neither can his wife, Daphne. It's not until Mary, his muse, comes to life and transforms him from author into subject that his story begins to unfold differently.

Mary challenges Mr. Fox to join her in stories of their own devising; and in different times and places, the two of them seek each other, find each other, thwart each other, and try to stay together, even when the roles they inhabit seem to forbid it. Their adventures twist the fairy tale into nine variations, exploding and teasing conventions of genre and romance, and each iteration explores the fears that come with accepting a lifelong bond. Meanwhile, Daphne becomes convinced that her husband is having an affair, and finds her way into Mary and Mr. Fox's game. And so Mr. Fox is offered a choice: Will it be a life with the girl of his dreams, or a life with an all-too-real woman who delights him more than he cares to admit?

The extraordinarily gifted Helen Oyeyemi has written a love story like no other.  Mr. Fox is a magical book, endlessly inventive, as witty and charming as it is profound in its truths about how we learn to be with one another.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
©2018 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.