The 5 shortlisted titles for the BBC National Short Story Award 2010 administered in partnership with Booktrust, containing:Tea at the Midland by David ConstantineDavid Constantine 2010 Haywards Heath by Aminatta FornaAminatta Forna 2010Butcher’s Perfume by Sarah HallSarah Hall 2010If It Keeps on Raining by Jon McGregorJon McGregor 2010My Daughter the Racist by Helen OyeyemiHelen Oyeyemi 2010
From the publication of his first Booker-nominated novel, at the age of 26, Jon McGregor's fiction has consistently been defined by lean poetic language, a keen sense of detail, and insightful characterization. Now, after publishing three novels, he's turning his considerable talent toward short fiction. The stories in this beautifully wrought collection explore a specific physical world and the people who inhabit it.
On a street in a town in the North of England, ordinary people are going through the motions of their everyday existence - street cricket, barbecues, painting windows.... A young man is in love with a neighbour who does not even know his name. An old couple make their way up to the nearby bus stop. But then a terrible event shatters the quiet of the early summer evening. That this remarkable and horrific event is only poignant to those who saw it means that those who witness it will be altered forever.
On a still and frozen day between Christmas and New Year, a man's body is found lying in his ruined flat. Found, and then taken away, examined, investigated and cremated. As the state begins its detailed, dispassionate inquest, the man embarks on his last journey through a world he has not ventured into, alive, for years. In his wake, a series of fractured narratives emerge as his friends who look on from the shadows, keep vigil as the hours pass.
"Depressing but Compelling"
The 5 shortlisted titles for the BBC National Short Story Award 2011 administered in partnership with Booktrust, containing: Rag Love by M. J. Hyland, read by Mike Sengelow; The Heart of Denis Noble by Alison MacLeod, read by Tim Pigott-Smith; Wires by Jon McGregor, read by Lydia Wilson; The Human Circadian Pacemaker by K. J. Orr, read by Indira Varma; The Dead Roads by D. W. Wilson, read by Trevor White.
Early morning is the time when a man stands in his door way looking out at the river, reflecting on the traumatic experiences of his past and his expectations for the future. The BBC National Short Story Award 2010 administered in partnership with Booktrust.
Midwinter in the early years of this century. A teenage girl on holiday has gone missing in the hills at the heart of England. The villagers are called up to join the search, fanning out across the moors as the police set up roadblocks and a crowd of news reporters descends on their usually quiet home. Meanwhile, there is work that must still be done: cows milked, fences repaired, stone cut, pints poured, beds made, sermons written, a pantomime rehearsed. The search for the missing girl goes on, but so does everyday life. As it must.
Long-listed for the Man Booker Prize. David Carter cannot help but wish for more: that his wife, Eleanor, would be the sparkling girl he once found so irresistible; that his job as a museum curator could live up to the promise it once held; that his daughter's arrival could have brought him closer to Eleanor. But a few careless words spoken by his mother's friend have left David restless with the knowledge that his whole life has been constructed around a lie.