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.
‘A true original. Her magical yet weirdly believable stories transport you in a breath into other lives and worlds, without a word wasted. Full of surprises.’ —Maggie Gee
‘A writer willing to tackle the hardest of all fictional forms – the short story. This is a region in which so many fail … Carys understands the attention and respect that must be paid to the form … she can keep her literary powder dry, so to speak, until the end of a story, and she can do what it is essential to do in this form, create a micro-world, which has reverberations beyond its size and scope, which is metaphysical.’ —Sarah Hall
‘on Some New Ambush: Darkly funny and unsettling.’ —Boyd Tonkin, The Independent
‘Like Chekhov’s great stories Davies’ stories are deceptively simple. They reward re-reading not by resolving the core mystery, but by revealing layers of meaning and complexity’ —Ladette Randolph, editor-in-chief of Ploughshares and 2015 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award judge
‘Extraordinarily powerful’ —VS Pritchett Prize judges Jane Gardam, Penelope Lively and Jacob Ross on The Redemption of Galen Pike
‘This story of brutal murder and rough justice in the American Wild West carried a real punch. As if Mark Twain and Annie Proulx had sat down at a desk together. But an original voice too. I shall be looking out for more.’ —Piers Plowright
‘Karen E Bender, Carys Davies, Tony Earley, Kirsty Gunn and Alejandro Zambra on shortlist for world’s richest short story prize … Jennifer Hamilton-Emery of Salt Publishing said: “We were completely bowled over when we heard the news that Carys Davies’ book, The Redemption of Galen Pike, had been shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor prize. It is, without doubt, the world’s most prestigious prize for short stories and to have a book placed up there with the best collections internationally is something we’ve dreamt of for many years. We are delighted for Carys, it is a fantastic achievement, and delighted too that her book has received such recognition.”’ —Martin Doyle, The Irish Times
‘Outstanding…perfectly distilled, intense…exquisite.’ —The Yorkshire Post
‘Confirms beyond doubt her position among the finest British exponents of a particularly challenging form.’ —The Irish Examiner
‘This delicate, magical collection won the Frank O’Connor Award for Short Stories and the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize and it’s easy to see why. They are precise but full of beautifully observed details that fill compact vignettes with incident and emotion.’ —Charlotte Heathcote, Daily Express
‘This book is so wonderful! It’s fantastic.’ —Sarah Jessica Parker, Read It Forward!
‘Her collection, The Redemption of Galen Pike, is published by the small UK independent press Salt. Its subjects span the world, with stories set everywhere from a remote Australian settlement, where a young wife has a secret, to a Colorado jail, where a Quaker woman meets a condemned man in his final hours in the title story.’ —Alison Flood, The Guardian
‘One of the things that I loved so much about The Redemption of Galen Pike is one of the things that makes it incredibly difficult to write about – the scope of these stories in both time and place are epic… It is simply a stunning collection of stories.’ —Simon Savidge, Savidge Reads
‘This sophisticated collection observes that everyone contains multitudes, and people’s darkest corners are what make them interesting. The book never falters in its delicate touch and confident, nuanced observations about the human condition.’ —Publishers Weekly
‘It’s little wonder that Davies was winner of the 2015 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, a prize previously given to the likes of Yiyun Li, Jhumpa Lahiri, Haruki Murakami and Edna O’Brien. The Redemption of Galen Pike is a stunning achievement, and Carys Davies a writer to celebrate.’ —Stephen Finucan, The Star