A group of art students protesting the demolition of a housing block decide to turn its destruction into a creative act...
Waiting in her car for the rain to pass after her mother's funeral, a woman nurses her child and reflects on a world outside that remains headless of her sorrow...
The stories shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University 2018 pivot around the theme of loss, and the different ways that individuals, and communities, respond to it. From the son caring for his estranged father, to the widow going out for her first meal alone, the characters in these stories are trying to find ways to repair themselves, looking ahead to a time when grief will eventually soften and sooth. Above all, these stories explore the importance of human connection, and salutary effect of companionship and friendship when all else seems lost.
Kerry Andrew is a composer and writer. Her debut novel, Swansong, was published by Jonathan Cape in January 2018. She performed her debut short story One Swallow on BBC Radio 4 in 2014. She is the winner of four British Composer Awards and has a PhD in Composition from the University of York. As a composer, she specialises in experimental vocal and choral music, music-theatre and community music. She made her BBC Proms debut in 2017 with No Place Like for BBC Ten Pieces and was Chair of the jury for the BBC Young Musician of the Year 2018. She performs alternative folk music under the banner of You Are Wolf and sings with award-winning a cappella trio Juice Vocal Ensemble. Originally from High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, Kerry lives in London.
Sarah Hall is the prize-winning author of five novels – Haweswater, The Electric Michelangelo, The Carhullan Army, How to Paint a Dead Man and The Wolf Border. Her first short story collection, The Beautiful Indifference, won the Portico Prize and the Edge Hill Short Story Prize. The first story in the collection, Butcher’s Perfume, was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award. Her second collection, Madame Zero, was published in 2017 and is currently shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize. The lead story, ‘Mrs Fox’, won the BBC National Short Story Award in 2013 and the last story, ‘Evie’, was shortlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. ‘Sudden Traveller’ is an original commission by Audible for the Bard series of short stories. Sarah was born in Cumbria and now lives in Norwich.
Kiare Ladner’s debut novel, Nightshift, will be published by Picador in late 2019. She wrote it together with short stories as part of a funded Creative Writing PhD at Aberystwyth University. During the PhD, her short stories were shortlisted in competitions (including the Bridport Prize, the Short Fiction Competition, the Short Sharp Stories Award and South Million Writers Award). They were also published in journals and anthologies in the UK, where she lives now, and South Africa, where she grew up (these include Lightship Anthology 1, New Contrast and Wasafiri). Before the PhD, she was given the David Higham Scholarship for her MA Prose Writing at the University of East Anglia. Before that, she worked in a range of jobs for academics, with prisoners and doing nightshifts. Kiare was born in Pretoria, South Africa, and is now based in London.
Born in Trinidad, Ingrid Persaud has had lives as a legal academic teaching at King’s College London, a Goldsmith College and Central St Martins trained visual artist and a project manager. Although she came to writing later in life, she has always been preoccupied with the power of words, both in her academic work and her exploration of text as art. Persaud is the 2017 winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and her work has appeared in Granta, Prospect and Pree magazines. Her physical homes are London and Barbados which she shares with ‘The Husband, teenaged twin boys, a feral chicken and two rescue dogs'.
Nell Stevens was born in Oxford. Her first book, Bleaker House, was published in 2017 and her memoir Mrs Gaskell & Me (UK) / The Victorian and the Romantic (US, CAN), a blend of life writing and historical fiction, was published this year. Nell has a PhD in Victorian literature from King's College London, and an MFA in Fiction from Boston University. She is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths University and lives in London.
For almost a decade, zoologist Rachel Caine has lived a solitary existence far from her estranged family in England, monitoring wolves in a remote section of Idaho as part of a wildlife recovery program. But a surprising phone call takes her back to the peat and wet light of the Lake District where she grew up. The eccentric Earl of Annerdale has a controversial scheme to reintroduce the Grey Wolf to the English countryside, and he wants Rachel to spearhead the project. Though she’s skeptical, the earl’s lands are close to the village where she grew up, and where her aging mother now lives.
While the earl’s plan harks back to an ancient idyll of untamed British wilderness, Rachel must contend with modern-day realities—health and safety issues, public anger and fear, cynical political interests. But the return of the Grey unexpectedly sparks her own regeneration.
Exploring the fundamental nature of wilderness and wildness, The Wolf Border illuminates both our animal nature and humanity: sex, love, conflict, and the desire to find answers to the question of our existence—the emotions, desires, and needs that rule our lives.
Sarah Hall has been hailed as "one of the most significant and exciting of Britain's young novelists" (The Guardian). Now, in this collection of short fiction published in England to phenomenal praise, she has created a work at once provocative and mesmerizing.