- Publisher: Pantheon Books
- Format: Hardback | 240 pages
- Dimensions: 145mm x 211mm x 36mm | 431g
- Publication date: 15 April 2014
- ISBN 10: 0307907767
- ISBN 13: 9780307907769
- Edition statement: New.
- Sales rank: 45,553
From one of "Granta"'s Best Young British Novelists, a stunningly insightful, emotionally powerful new novel about an outsider haunted by an inescapable past: a story of loneliness and survival, guilt and loss, and the power of forgiveness. Jake Whyte is living on her own in an old farmhouse on a craggy British island, a place of ceaseless rain and battering wind. Her disobedient collie, Dog, and a flock of sheep are her sole companions, which is how she wants it to be. But every few nights something--or someone--picks off one of the sheep and sounds a new deep pulse of terror. There are foxes in the woods, a strange boy and a strange man, and rumors of an obscure, formidable beast. And there is also Jake's past, hidden thousands of miles away and years ago, held in the silences about her family and the scars that stripe her back--a past that threatens to break into the present. With exceptional artistry and empathy, "All the Birds, Singing" reveals an isolated life in all its struggles and stubborn hopes, unexpected beauty, and hard-won redemption.
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EVIE WYLD grew up in Australia and London, where she currently resides. She has won the John Llewellyn-Rhys prize and a Betty Trask Award, and she has been short-listed for the Orange Award for New Writers, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize, and the Costa Novel Award.
By Marianne Vincent 04 Aug 2014
All The Birds, Singing is the second novel by British-Australian author, Evie Wyld, and winner of the 2014 Miles Franklin Literary Award. The first narrative starts with Jake Whyte, currently living on an unnamed British island, finding a second of her sheep dead and mutilated, and wondering whether foxes, some other wildlife or the local teens are to blame. Jake's isolated existence, with only her dog, Dog, and her herd of sheep for company, puzzles the locals. The second narrative starts some three years earlier, with Jake part of a sheep-shearing troupe in Western Australia. It seems that Jake is on the run from something or someone: just who is Otto? And why does Jake have scars on her back? What knowledge is it that another shearer tries to hold over her? The hints and clues will have the reader intrigued as to the events in Jake's past that have led to her current situation. Astute readers will quickly realise that the events occurring in Australia are told in reverse order. With her evocative descriptions, Wyld sets her scenes, both the isolated, cold British island and the hot, dusty West Australian outback, with consummate ease. Her plot has twists that eventually reveal hidden depths and flaws in the prickly Jake the world is shown. While some of the subject matter can be quite confronting, there is also subtle humour contained in Wyld's prose. A brilliant read.
**One of the Best Books of the Year in the "Guardian, New Statesman, Independent, Observer"** **Shortlisted for the James Tait Black Prize, and the Costa Award for Best Novel** **Winner of the Encore Award for Best Second Novel** **Winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award** "Daring and fierce, this is a book that makes you feel the need to look over your shoulder in case something dark and hulking might be gaining on you . . . Brilliantly unsettling." --"Boston Globe" "Swift and assured and emotionally wrenching. You won't only root for Jake, you'll see the world, hard facts and all, more clearly through her telling. There's hope at the end, and wit, and friendship . . . She's unlike any character I've seen in fiction." --Maile Meloy, "New York Times Book Review" "Masterful." --"The New Yorker" "Purely gorgeous . . . Writing with assurance and just enough embedded clues to help us understand what she is doing, Wyld ramps up the tension . . . There's love as well as dread in this book, a surprising sort of love--the best kind of all." --"Washington Post" "Wickedly captivating . . . It's a testament to Wyld's nimble talent that she pulls off the trick [of the structure] so successfully . . . It's nearly impossible not to get swept up in the game of merging the two stories . . . Think "Room "or "Winter's Bone"-style creepy." --"San Francisco Chronicle" "Utterly gripping . . . "All the Birds, Singing" has the brisk pacing of a well-thumbed pocket paperback found in a summer cottage, and yet it's the sort of book that gets listed as a best book of the year . . . The success of "The Goldfinch "was a perfect test case."--"Salon" "Tantalizes . . . The prose maintains a fine-tuned ominous mood." --"New York Times" "Gloriously gruesome . . . Half of you wants to race through to find out what happens, half wants to pause over the dark, clotted sentences. And then the state of suspense becomes almost unbearable, and you rush through, feeling like you are sprinting through a museum of sinister curiosities, too frightened to linger . . . The final revelation, when it comes, is explosive." --NPR.org "Wyld teasingly leads readers to the mysterious incident Jake is trying to escape . . . Pungent with menace." --"Wall Street Journal" " " "Gorgeously vivid . . . Ripe material for a Jane Campion movie or miniseries." --"Harper's" "Completely and utterly monumental." --BBC Radio 4 "A tremendous achievement . . . A dark, powerfully disturbing and beautifully observed story . . . almost Nabokovian in its structural intricacy." --William Boyd, "New Statesman" "Broodingly lyrical." --"Vogue" "Outstanding . . . Evie Wyld is the real thing . . . She reconfigures the conventions of storytelling with a sure-footedness and ambition which belie her age . . . Quite as good as Ian McEwan's early fiction." --"The Spectator" "Extraordinarily accomplished, one of those books that tears around in your cerebellum like a dark firework, and which, upon finishing, you immediately want to pick up again." --"Financial Times" "Absolutely gorgeous . . . Wyld's heroine, Jake, is like Hemingway's Nick Adams in toughness and silence, but she has a far more terrifying history, and her story now is edged by greater threat. You won't be able to stop reading." --David Vann, author of "Legend of a Suicide" "Extraordinary . . . The conclusion of the novel, when the reveal is delivered with a powerful punch, [is] like something out of an Alice Munro story." --"Kirkus Reviews" "Wyld displays a fierce command of language . . . She tackles a variety of difficult themes--memory and trauma chief among them--with considerable care." --"Daily Beast" "Don't overlook Evie Wyld's read-in-one-sitting "All the Birds, Singing" . . . Pass along after reading--some secrets are too good not to share." --"W "magazine "Ingeniously constructed." --"Literary Review" "A riveting novel . . . Jake is both haunted by the past and struggling with the present, and the intensity of Wyld's sharp novel grows as the two threaten to collide." --"Booklist" "An intensely involving tale of survival, shot through with Wyld's distinctive wit . . . An indelible and atmospheric novel that will have the hairs on the back of your neck working overtime." --"Daily Mail" "For once, the hype matches the talent . . . Wyld's writing seems to come from somewhere deep somewhere a little bit unnerving." --"The Sunday Times "(London) "It's the quality of Wyld's prose that really blows your mind." --"Metro" "One of the best books I read this year was Evie Wyld's darkly beautiful "All the Birds, Singing." Wyld twists together the warp and weft of poetic language and plot to create a disquieting, deeply suspenseful novel. It lingered with me long after I finished it." --Hannah Kent, "Sydney Morning Herald " "Searing . . . Wyld's writing is as muscular as Jake." --"Publishers Weekly" "Wyld [is] a writer of exceptional talent . . . a distinctive and important new voice." --"Irish Times" "Vividly drawn . . . When the birds do 'sing, ' and Jake's primal tragedy is revealed, it is clever and very unexpected indeed." --"The Guardian" " " "Unsettling, beautiful, horrifying and moving in equal parts . . . In the flawed but vulnerable character of Jake, Wyld's created someone you can't help but care for, root for and desperately want the best for . . . There is no disputing the power of the story and the beauty of Wyld's writing. It's an extraordinary book." --"Stylist" "One feels the influence of an early Ian McEwan or Iain Banks . . . But "All the Birds, Singing "is also powerfully original." --"Times Literary Supplement "(London) "Tim Winton is a writer with whom the fearless Wyld deserves serious comparison." --"Daily Telegraph" " " """Wyld's work has been compared to that of Cormac McCarthy for the mythic qualities they share, but it is in the continuity of peoples, places and customs that the two are bound together tightest."""""--"The Skinny ""Evie Wyld's novels ask tough questions without seeking easy answers . . . Wyld excels in the intimate details that make up the relationship between humans and animals . . . Best of all are Jake's interactions with dogs in the novel . . . Despite Jake's gruff exterior, this is not a book about loneliness or even isolation. There are moments of connection and human kindness."" --BookPage "