Anna Metcalfe | Granta

Anna Metcalfe

Anna Metcalfe‘s fiction has been published in The Best of British Short Stories, The Dublin Review and Lighthouse Journal, among other places. She has an MA and PhD in Creative Writing from UEA and lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham. In 2014 she was the youngest writer ever to be shortlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award for her story ‘Number Three’ and in 2016 her debut collection of short stories Blind Water Pass was published by John Murray.

Coming soon - April 2023


Anna Metcalfe

She is watched by Elliot as he trains in the gym. He notices her dedication to building her body and taking up space, and he is drawn to her strength. She is observed by her mother, as she grows from a taciturn, tremulous child into a determined and distant woman, who severs all familial ties. She is observed by her former colleague Susie, who offers her sanctuary and support as she leaves her partner and her job and rebuilds her life, transforms her body, and reinvents herself online. Each of these three witnesses to the woman desires closeness. Each is left with only the husk of who she was before she became someone else: a woman on a singular and solitary path with the power to inspire and to influence her followers, for good and ill.

An oblique, intimate novel told in lucid, beguiling prose, Chrysalis a story about solitude and selfhood, and about the blurred line between self-care and narcissism. It is about controlling the body and the mind, about the place of the individual within society and what is means when someone choses to leave society behind. It is strikingly contemporary story about the search for answers and those we trust to give them to us.