West | Granta

  • Published: 04/04/2019
  • ISBN: 9781783784233
  • 129x20mm
  • 160 pages

West

Carys Davies

When Cy Bellman, American settler and widowed father of Bess, reads in the newspaper that huge ancient bones have been discovered in a Kentucky swamp, he leaves his small Pennsylvania farm and young daughter to find out if the rumours are true: that the giant monsters are still alive, and roam the uncharted wilderness beyond the Mississippi River.

West is the story of Bellman’s journey and of Bess, waiting at home for her father to return. Written with compassionate tenderness and magical thinking, it explores the courage of conviction, the transformative power of grief, the desire for knowledge and the pull of home, from an exceptionally talented and original British writer. It is a radiant and timeless epic-in-miniature, an eerie, electric monument to possibility.

One of the most haunting and beautifully crafted novels I have read in a long time... Davies has produced something quite wonderful

Sunday Times

One of the best books I've read this year...West [...] is so crisply and concisely written, and so warm and human in its economy, that it shames the behemoths sitting beside it on the nation's bookshop shelves. It's a book you can read in a day and that will resonate all year long in your head

Andrew Holgate, Sunday Times

Slender, stark and utterly mesmerising... The language, lyrical yet pared down, conveys complicated feelings of grief, guilt, sadness and a strange kind of wonder

Eithne Farry, Mail On Sunday

The Author

Carys Davies‘s debut novel, West, was shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize, Runner Up for the Society of Authors’ McKitterick Prize, and winner of the Wales Book of the Year for Fiction. She is also the author of two collections of short stories, Some New Ambush and The Redemption of Galen Pike, which won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize. She lives in Edinburgh.

More about the author →

From the Same Author

The Mission House

Fleeing the dark undercurrents of contemporary life in Britain, Hilary Byrd takes refuge in Ooty, a hill station in South India. There he finds solace in life’s simple pleasures, travelling by rickshaw around the small town with his driver Jamshed and staying in a mission house beside the local presbytery where the Padre and his adoptive daughter Priscilla have taken Hilary under their wing.

The Padre is concerned for Priscilla’s future, and as Hilary’s friendship with the young woman grows, he begins to wonder whether his purpose lies in this new relationship. But religious tensions are brewing and the mission house may not be the safe haven it seems.

The Mission House boldly and imaginatively explores post-colonial ideas in a world fractured between faith and non-belief, young and old, imperial past and nationalistic present. Tenderly subversive and meticulously crafted, it is a deeply human fable of the wonders and terrors of connection in a modern world.

Carys Davies on Granta.com

Fiction | The Online Edition

West

Carys Davies

Carys Davies' new novel is a mesmerising depiction of the uncharted wilderness beyond the Mississippi River

Essays & Memoir | The Online Edition

Carys Davies | Notes on Craft

Carys Davies

‘All good stories are both resonant and concrete; they live in the mind of the reader and reverberate beyond the pages of the book.’

Essays & Memoir | The Online Edition

Crossing Borders

Carys Davies

Carys Davies on how the settlement of the American West can help us understand Donald Trump’s nativism.