‘The highly anticipated first short story collection from the author of the Folio Prize-shortlisted Mary Ann Sate, Imbecile.’
It’s a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour From Far Around They Saw Us Burn by Alice Jolly.
About the Author
Alice Jolly is a novelist and playwright. She won the 2014 V. S. Pritchett Memorial Prize with one of her short stories, ‘Ray the Rottweiler’, and her memoir Dead Babies and Seaside Towns won the 2016 PEN Ackerley Prize. She has published two novels with Simon & Schuster – What the Eye Doesn’t See and If Only You Knew – and four of her plays have been produced by the professional company of the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham.
Her novel Mary Ann Sate, Imbecile, published by Unbound in 2018, was longlisted for the RSL Ondaatje Prize and shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize. Her latest novel, Between the Regions of Kindness, was published by Unbound in 2019. In 2021, Jolly was awarded an O. Henry Prize for her short story ‘From Far Around They Saw Us Burn’. She lives in Stroud, Gloucestershire. Follow @jollyalice on Twitter
About the book
This collection contains works such as ‘Ray the Rottweiler’, which won the 2014 V. S. Pritchett Memorial Prize, and ‘From Far Around They Saw Us Burn’, which in 2021 received an O. Henry Prize, the US’s most prestigious short story award.
From Far Around They Saw Us Burn is the eagerly awaited first short story collection from Alice Jolly, one of the most exciting and accomplished voices in British fiction today. The extraordinary range of work gathered here is united by a fascination with how everyday interactions can transform our lives in unpredictable ways. These are stories of lonely people, outcasts and misfits, and the ghosts that inhabit our intimate spaces. The result is a compelling, arresting and, at times, devastating collection – not least in the title story, which was inspired by the tragic true events of the 1943 Cavan orphanage fire.
Written with an exemplary eye for detail and an intimate understanding of the complexities of human nature, Jolly’s collection builds up towards the ultimate question: what is revealed of us when we peel away the surfaces, and is it enough?
This is a novella length book of short stories, fifteen stories. Multiple variations on situations where humans are disappointing and flawed, simultaneously brow beaten into submission by societal norms.
I think it’s the clarity the author offers the reader, especially when presented with a certain perspective or rather the preferred perspective. Chipping away at the frivolous, and perhaps often misleading facts to hide the guilt. Although in the last story there is probably not an inch of guilt by hands who feel they are the voice of morality. The story even more tragic and scathing as it’s told from the viewpoint of the victims.
It’s an intriguing combination of short stories, which are like small microcosms of kodak moments in time. They pull you in in such a visceral way that it is hard to believe they are but brief moments to experience. I would definitely buy longer works by this author.
Buy From Far Around They Saw Us Burn at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published in Hardback by Unbound on 30th March, 2023 for £18.99 and eBook for £9.99. Buy at Amazon com.