Alys Conran is based in North Wales, where she writes fiction and poetry. Her debut novel Pigeon is one of 6 books by writers aged 39 and under shortlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize 2017.
'An exquisite novel by a great new writer' – M.J Hyland
Last year a Welsh language adaptation of Pigeon (Pijin by Sian Northey) was published at the same time as the English original. This year Pigeon will be released in India by Bee Books.
Alys Conran's short fiction has been placed in the Bristol Short Story Prize and the Manchester Fiction Prize. She completed her MA in Creative Writing at Manchester, graduating with distinction, and is currently, with the support of a scholarship, working on a second novel about the legacy of the Raj in contemporary British life.
She has read her fiction and poetry at The Hay Festival and on Radio Four, and her work is to be found in magazines including Stand and The Manchester Review, and also in anthologies by The Bristol Review of Books, Parthian, The Camden Trust and Honno. She also publishes poetry, creative non-fiction, creative essays and literary translations.
Originally from north Wales, she spent several years in Edinburgh and Barcelona before returning to the area to live and write, and speaks fluent Spanish and Catalan as well as Welsh and English. She has also trained and practiced in Youth and Community Work, and has developed projects to increase access to creative writing and reading. She is now a lecturer in creative writing at Bangor. You can follow her on twitter @alysconran or visit her website.
An incongruous ice-cream van lurches up into the
Welsh hills through the hail, pursued by a boy and
girl who chase it into their own dark make-believe
world, and unfurl in their compelling voices a tale
which ultimately breaks out of childhood and echoes
across the years.
Pigeon is the tragic, occasionally hilarious and
ultimately intense story of a childhood friendship
and how it's torn apart, a story of guilt, silence and
the loss of innocence, and a story about the kind of
love which may survive it all.
'Might have been authoured by Faulkner... just as imaginatively capacious... Never overwrought, rather pitch-perfect.' – Omar Sabbagh, New Welsh Review
'...a quite brilliant and empathetic writer of both narrative and character. Pigeon is an extraordinary book about people, place, language and culture.'
– From the Margins
'...deceptively simple... throughly engaging... a timeless quality... I should like to recommend that the unpretentious prose of Pigeon be read primarily for its humaneness and subtle poetical spirit.' – Wales Arts Review
Viva Voce – with Alys Conran, Wrexham Carnival of Words, Thursday 4 May, 7.30pm
Alys Conran will be appearing at Edinburgh Book Festival in August 2017.