Booker prize short-listed author M J Hyland read Alys Conran's first novel Pigeon as a proof for Parthian a year ago. She considered it 'An exquisite novel by a great new talent.' Today it been included on the short-list of six for the Dylan Thomas Award. It has been widely reviewed in Wales in both the English and Welsh media as a ground-breaking novel about the power of language, identity and Wales. Alys Conran recently took part in a Free Word event at the the London Bookfair focusing on how writers from the margins can engage with readers and writers. And asking does contemporary fiction and media need to give a better representation of the variety of national voices and perspectives? Not one paper or magazine outside Wales has reviewed Pigeon yet. Tonight she will be appearing at the Anthony Burgess centre in Manchester. I am sure Anthony Burgess, as a writer who once wrote a long review of his own book in the Yorkshire Post would have been delighted that this particular pigeon is making its way in the world.
Richard Davies, Publisher
I'd like a lot more people to read this book so we're offering £2 off with free postage on our website.
Pijin has made it on the shortlist of the International Dylan Thomas Prize 2017!
Awarded for the best published literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under, the prize is named after the Swansea-born writer, Dylan Thomas, and celebrates his 39 years of creativity and productivity. One of the most influential, internationally-renowned writers of the mid-twentieth century, the £30,000 prize invokes his memory to support the writers of today and nurture the talents of tomorrow.
Launched in 2006, The International Dylan Thomas Prize is the largest literary prize in the world for young writers.
Iola and Pijin make up stories to test each other, stories of daring and adventure, of bad people and of Gwyn who drives his ice-cream up the hill to their town every week. Gwyn is a dangerous man and Pijin knows it. Iola is not so sure. As they grow up and their friendship grows more complicated, some of their stories fall silent, but some will come true. Pigeon is a journey through the uneasy half-forgotten memories of childhood, a story about wishful-thinking and the power of language. A Welsh language adaptation of Pigeon (Pijin by Sian Northey) was published at the same time as the English original.
Alys Conran will be appearing at the Edinburgh Festival this August.
Praise for Pigeon:
'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
About the Author:
Alys Conran's short fiction has been placed in the Bristol Short Story Prize and the Manchester Fiction Prize. She completed her MA 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 lecturer in creative writing at Bangor.
Find her on twitter @alysconran
Use the code PIGEON for a £2 discount when you buy Pigeon from the Parthian Bookshop