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Fleeing the dark undercurrents of contemporary life in Britain, Hilary Byrd takes refuge in Ooty, a hill station in South India. There he finds solace in life's simple pleasures, travelling by rickshaw around the small town with his driver Jamshed and staying in a mission house beside the local presbytery where the Padre and his adoptive daughter Priscilla have taken Hilary under their wing. The Padre is concerned for Priscilla's future, and as Hilary's friendship with the young woman grows, he begins to wonder whether his purpose lies in this new relationship. But religious tensions are brewing and the mission house may not be the safe haven it seems. The Mission House boldly and imaginatively explores post-colonial ideas in a world fractured between faith and non-belief, young and old, imperial past and nationalistic present. Tenderly subversive and meticulously crafted, it is a deeply human fable of the wonders and terrors of connection in a modern world.
Shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2019 When Cy Bellman, American settler and widowed father of Bess, reads in the newspaper that huge ancient bones have been discovered in a Kentucky swamp, he leaves his small Pennsylvania farm and young daughter to find out if the rumours are true: that the giant monsters are still alive, and roam the uncharted wilderness beyond the Mississippi River. West is the story of Bellman's journey and of Bess, waiting at home for her father to return. Written with compassionate tenderness and magical thinking, it explores the courage of conviction, the transformative power of grief, the desire for knowledge and the pull of home, from an exceptionally talented and original British writer. It is a radiant and timeless epic-in-miniature, an eerie, electric monument to possibility.
Winner of the 2015 International Frank O'Connor Short Story Award Winner of the 2015 Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize Shortlisted for the 2015 Wales Book of the Year: Fiction Shortlisted for the 2015 Edge Hill Short Story Prize The Globe 100: The Best International Fiction of 2017 In a remote Australian settlement a young wife with an untellable secret reluctantly invites her neighbour into her home. A Quaker spinster offers companionship to a condemned man in a Colorado jail. In the ice and snows of Siberia an office employee from Birmingham witnesses a scene that will change her life. At a jubilee celebration in a northern English town a middle-aged alderman opens his heart to Queen Victoria. A teenage daughter leaves home in search of adventure. High in the Cumbrian fells a woman seeks help from her father's enemy. Spare, precise, charged with a prickly wit, the stories in Carys Davies's sparkling second collection remind us how little we know of the lives of others.
Some New Ambush is the first collection of short stories from award-winning writer Carys Davies. Love, loss, birth, death, betrayal, madness - they all lie in wait for Davies's characters in their startlingly different worlds: a dry cleaner's shop in contemporary Chicago, a mining town in South Wales in the sixties, a lunatic asylum in nineteenth century northern England. Shot through with wit and aching emotional poignancy, these stories tell of how we attempt to confront the things life throws in our path - often when we least expect them, and in places where we never thought to look. They tell of the mistakes we make along the way, and of how we try to deal with the whole difficult, unpredictable business. There is the boy who steps into his best friend's clothes in a desperate bid to fulfil his dreams, the man who comes up with an amazing new invention to win the heart of the woman he loves, the bored young wife doomed to live on an island where everything is red, the middle-aged woman who finds a baby in the sand and passes it off as her own.