WEST by Carys Davies is shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2019
Photograph: Rathbones Folio Prize
Congratulations to Carys Davies, whom we represent on behalf of The Clegg Agency, on being shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2019 for her debut novel WEST, described by the judges as an 'audacious novella about a quixotic early American father'.
The £30,000 Rathbones Folio Prize rewards the best work of literature of the year, regardless of form. The eight shortlisted books are now in the running for the overall prize, which will be awarded at a ceremony at the British Library in London on 20 May 2019. They were chosen from a list of 80 works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, which the Folio Academy deemed to be the best published in the UK in 2018.
Praise for WEST:
'Immensely engaging and brilliantly written, this short debut novel is a miniature masterpiece. [...] Scenes sparkle with wry comedy. Unexpected alliances form. Menace looms and ordeals are braved amid breathtaking landscapes.' Sunday Times Books of the Year 2018
'[A] stunning debut novel [...] not a word is wasted; the canvas is as wide as her brush is fine. [...] [Davies] holds comedy and tragedy in equal, delicate balance. And she balances each individual consciousness against "the dizzying weight of all the mystery of the earth and everything in it and beyond it" - that unknown which so tempts Bellman. There are many worlds to explore within this deceptively short book, which gallops towards its conclusion with a mythic inevitability. You won't be able to turn back.' Justine Jordan, Guardian
'[West] is one of the most haunting and beautifully crafted novels I have read in a long time. [...] Davies, as she showed in her previous books, is immensely generous towards her characters - a gift of empathy that is hard to resist. She is comfortable, too, inhabiting different voices, and is subtle and rounded in her characterisation. [...] Relationships, too, are gracefully developed. [...] Then there is the subtlety and control of the writing, the economy, and the rhythm of the language - and the sense that Davies has taken immense time and pains with her prose. Everything is measured, and even the most sinister of moments are touched with a strange sort of grace [...] There is something of the fairy tale about Davies's book. And like the best fairy tales, it is filled with wonder, about the natural world, and about humans and their impractical dreams. Davies has produced something quite wonderful in West. This is a gently seductive book, one that entrances right to its cleverly conceived end.' Andrew Holgate, Sunday Times