Double win for David Szalay at the Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2019!
Congratulations to David Szalay on his latest book, TURBULENCE (Jonathan Cape, 2019) being awarded both the main £10,000 prize and the £1,000 Reader's Choice Award at the Edge Hill Short Story Prize this year! Originally commissioned by BBC Radio 4, the collection of stories has received critical acclaim since the publication of the print edition:
'More tales of mortality from a master of the genre... [Turbulence] is a chilling achievement.’ Evening Standard
'Szalay’s mixture of directness and withholding looks increasingly masterly.’ Financial Times
‘An ingenious literary chain letter.' iNews
‘These tales of missed connections are sorrowfully profound... Szalay’s gift for inhabiting entirely different lives is as remarkable and spooky as ever.’ The Times
‘Heart-stoppingly beautiful prose... One of this collection’s standout qualities is how it conjures the experience of travel itself in all its banality... Things in this elegant, frightening, politically charged book, fall apart. They also lift off.’ Telegraph *****
‘Stark tales of life in flux...There’s not an ounce of fat to be found, as decades of emotion hang in the spaces between the short, declarative sentences... What Szalay does so well is the minute-by-minute apprehension of the close-up world, what he calls “the tightly packed fabric of reality”, combined here with an impressively global vision.’ Guardian
'Reading David Szalay is like receiving a series of electric shocks... [his] stories may be over in just a matter of minutes, but they are violently, appallingly immersive.' Daily Mail
The Prize panel included 2018 prize winner Tessa Hadley, co-founder of Galley Beggar Press Sam Jordison, and author and playwright Elizabeth Baines while the Reader’s Choice award was chosen by Edge Hill University students and alumni.
Jordison said of Turbulence: “We all just really liked it, we loved it. Emotionally it worked, I found lots of the stories really quite moving. Once you’ve read one of the stories in the collection you feel like you’ve been through a whole life, a whole world, and then realise actually it’s only a few pages. I was really impressed by the way David inhabited so many different lives and voices, which felt to me like a really brave thing to do. One of the magic things about this collection is that as a reader you feel like you’re really connecting with these people; that’s a really wonderful thing.”
Szalay added: “It feels fantastic to win the Edge Hill Short Story Prize, and I’m just as happy to win the Reader’s Choice category voted for by students. It’s really special to win an award which is judged by aspiring writers themselves; that was wonderful.”
If you haven't read TURBULENCE yet, make sure you do! You can also listen to it via BBC Radio 4 here.