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Richard Owain Roberts

Hello Friend We Missed You

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WINNER of the Guardian's Not the Booker prize 2020


'After a decade, the Not the Booker prize still has the ability to produce surprises. I would never have predicted that the most interesting and original book on this year’s shortlist would be something like Hello Friend We Missed You, because Richard Owain Roberts’ book is wonderfully unlike anything else ... I do believe we’ve found a gem.' The Guardian

'This is so, so good. You will no doubt read this book, as I did, with an ever-growing sense of appreciation and admiration for its wit, warmth, rhythm, poetry, and virtuoso display of a writer in complete and audacious command of his material. What is at root a simple boy-meets-girl story is transmuted into something uniquely astonishing through a wild and intrepid imagination. To repeat: this novel is so, soooo good.' – Niall Griffiths

'...a writer of exceptional stylistic talent but one who manages to bring characters and places into vibrant life. This is an undeniably cool book but it also has a great deal of soul. He could be the voice of our generation, I hope people are reading.' – Amy Lloyd, One More Lie (Penguin)

'If one of the functions of the novel is to reflect the world around us then HELLO FRIEND WE MISSED YOU is as close as you can get to a perfect piece of art.' – Rhys Thomas, The Unlikely Heroics of Sam Holloway (Wildfire)

'A witty, irony-rich coming-of-age story.' Kirkus


Praise for All the Places We Lived:

'The Welsh David Foster Wallace' –  Srdjan Srdic

'An inimitable, substantial prose stylist – and by far the funniest contemporary British writer around' – Bill Broady

'… the satirical style of Brett Easton Ellis… Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates… but more than anything, read it if you like great fiction' – Wales Arts Review


HELLO FRIEND WE MISSED YOU is a poignant and comic novel about loneliness, Netflix, existing, rural life, money, Jack Black, and learning to live in the least excruciating way possible. 

Its story, which unfolds on the small Welsh island of Môn, of people armed with every social media completely failing to communicate, is far, far funnier than it has any right to be. It's also, ultimately, extremely moving. An incredible debut novel from a truly unique prose stylist.

An English Literature graduate of Manchester University and LJMU’s Writing MA, Richard’s debut short fiction collection, All The Places We Lived, was published by Parthian Books in 2015 and he is the subject of the forthcoming film ULTRA: a documentary covering the promotional tour for the collection’s Serbian translation. Born and raised on Ynys Môn, Richard lives in Cardiff with his wife, daughters, and cat, Abi The God. He recently won the PENfro Short Story Prize 2019, judged by Niall Griffiths. HELLO FRIEND WE MISSED YOU is Richard’s debut novel.