Posted on 2nd September 2015

Posted by joanna

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Reviews: The Redemption of Galen Pike

CarysDavies_Jacket‘Carys Davies is a gifted writer. 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

‘On “Hwang”: A perfectly judged moment of comedy … I laughed out loud at the same point every time I read it.’ —Lynne Truss

‘Stealthily clever stories, pricked with menace.’ —Sue Gee

‘extraordinarily powerful’ —VS Pritchett Prize judges Jane Gardam, Penelope Lively and Jacob Ross 

‘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

‘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


Intense drama in bite-size pieces

‘Outstanding…perfectly distilled, intense…exquisite.’

12.12.2014, The Yorkshire Post


Novel short story writer Carys Davies triumphs

‘Confirms beyond doubt her position among the finest British exponents of a particularly challenging form.’

Billy O’Callaghan, 9.7.2015, Irish Examiner


‘Beautiful…. superbly elegant. Davies achieves that miraculous thing – being endlessly unexpected without being unbelievable…[she] manages to create vast worlds within only a few sentences.’ GWales  (with permission of the Welsh Books Council)


‘Extraordinary…heart-stopping…Like all good stories, these tales expand and reverberate beyond the page, pulsating with life. Davies’ voice – witty, offbeat, crackling with intelligence – is entirely her own. No doubt this publication will cement her reputation as one of the finest short story writers in the UK.’

Angharad Penrhyn Jones , Spring 2015, New Welsh Review , more here and here.


‘A truly original and striking collection, full of funny, keenly observed stories replete with twists and turns… Here is a remarkable voice.’ — the 2015 Frank O’Connor Short Story Award judges in The Bookseller.


‘Though short in size, this collection punches well above its weight. The stories are clear, concise and full of depth. The sense of place, grasp of language and ability to hone in on the crux of an idea, all build into this fine, award-winning, collection.’ — the 2015 Frank O’Connor Short Story Award on Facebook.


The book was also shortlisted for the 2015 Edgehill Short Story Prize and the 2015 Wales Book of the Year – Listen to the podcast with Alex Clark here:


‘The unexpected is a hallmark of Davies’ style – which is not at all to suggest that this is gone about in a gratuitous or fantastical fashion. On the contrary, the unexpected twists and turns of Davies’ stories always feel completely likely – as though she has travelled far further inside the inner lives of her characters than most authors would think necessary. Or perhaps would even know how to get to. Davies plumbs these depths time and time again, returning to the surface with hard won, innermost truths.’ — Wales Arts Review 


“The stories in Carys Davies’s The Redemption of Galen Pike are the best short stories I have come across in some time. The book is so slender and many of the stories are so short it is scarcely credible they should have the impact and resonance that they do.”  – The Woodstock Bookshop 


‘Every story in this stunning collection is a gem and completely unlike what follows or precedes it. Davies’ diversity shows no bounds as she takes us from jails in the Wild West to a meeting with Queen Victoria, from Australian isolated farms to snowy Siberia where each time we meet fantastic characters with unlikely and unexpected tales to tell. I loved every single one.’ — Simon Savidge, blogger, journalist and Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize judge


Listen to a very short performance of an excerpt of one of the stories in the book as part of the Wales Book Of the Year promo here:


Buy your copy of The Redemption of Galen Pike here.


CarysDaviesCarys Davies was the winner of the the 2010 Society of Authors’ Olive Cook Short Story Award, the 2011 Royal Society of Literature’s V S Pritchett Memorial Prize, a 2013 Northern Writers’ Award and the 2015  Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. She has been shortlisted and longlisted for many other prizes including the Calvino Prize, the Manchester Fiction Prize, the Roland Mathias Prize, the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, the Wales Book of the Year, and the William Trevor/Elizabeth Bowen Prize. Born in Wales, she now lives in Lancaster.

The Redemption of Galen Pike is published by Salt.




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