The new story collection from one of our most celebrated masters of the form, Sarah Hall.
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*WINNER OF THE BBC NATIONAL SHORT STORY AWARD 2020*
SHORTLISTED FOR THE EDGE HILL SHORT STORY PRIZE
SHORTLISTED FOR THE JAMES TAIT BLACK MEMORIAL PRIZE
‘No one writes stories the way Hall does and quite possibly no one ever will. Astonishing, miraculous, a gift.’ Daisy Johnson
The seven stories of Sudden Traveller immerse us anew in one of the most distinctive literary imaginations. In Turkish forests or rain-drenched Cumbrian villages, characters walk, drive, dream and fly, trying to reconcile themselves with their journey through life and death. A woman fitted with life-changing technology returns to the site of her strongest memories; a man repatriated in the near east hears the name of an old love called and must unpack history’s suitcase; and from the new world-waves of female anger and resistance, a mythical creature evolves.
Radical, charged with a transformative creative power, each of these stories opens channels in the human mind and spirit, as Sarah Hall once more invites the reader to stand at the very edge of our possible selves.
‘Hall’s stories are extraordinary. Magical. I never know where the next one will take me, but I know it will be unexpected, memorable, and built from language that crackles with energy.’ Chris Power
Praise for Madame Zero:
‘So fearsomely excellent it almost hurt to read. Truly the best collection I’ve come across in a decade.’ Wells Tower
‘These stories leave the reader unsettled, thrilled, and changed … Marvellous.’ Jon McGregor
‘I can’t praise it highly enough.’ David Mitchell
‘Astonishing: humane yet otherworldly, disturbing, sexy and strange. The woman is a genius.’ Jessie Burton
‘Hall’s stories are vixen-shaped: urban and rural, feral and natural, female and stinky, beautiful and tough … Exceptional, compelling, frightening and authentic.’ Guardian
‘Stunning … Each of these brilliant stories is a leap into a dark, mysterious void that ultimately reveals glittering terrors therein.’ Independent
‘An edgy, sensuous, and immediate writer of striking power and grace.’ Sunday Times
No one writes stories the way Sarah Hall does and quite possibly no one ever will. Astonishing, miraculous, a gift.
Sarah Hall's stories are extraordinary. Magical. I never know where the next one will take me, but I know it will be unexpected, memorable, and built from language that crackles with energy.
To enter into a world created by Sarah Hall is to step into a landscape that is feral and alive … it’s a voice, fierce and unapologetic, uniquely her own … Teetering on a precipice of menace, the stories in this collection don’t seek to offer easy answers, only some solace in a shared human condition.
The writing is luminous from the first page ... Slipping seamlessly between fantasy and reality, it is an ambitious, powerful and, at times, deeply unsettling book.
Written in a poetic prose and veering into fantasy, [Sarah Hall’s] fluent new collection Sudden Traveller shows her sensational trademark themes of sexuality and mortality in various shapeshifting combinations … vividly done and never less than readable, it is all a heady and viable mix of visceral and slick.
If you’re one of those readers who resist short stories, then the title tale in this collection might just convince you otherwise … This meditation on attachment and mortality is at once elemental and polished, compressed and expansive. Six accompanying tales channel sci-fi, folklore and philosophy as they flit from the Lake District to Turkey, confirming that Hall is a writer at the top of her game.
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