Somewhere Else, or Even HerePaperback
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- Publisher: Salt Publishing
- Format: Paperback | 160 pages
- Dimensions: 129mm x 198mm x 11mm | 240g
- Publication date: 1 December 2011
- Publication City/Country: Cambridge
- ISBN 10: 1844718808
- ISBN 13: 9781844718801
- Sales rank: 978,389
A girl meets with danger on the beach when she is lured away by a strange boy; a bereaved wife enlists the help of a mysterious woman to perform rituals that will bring her dead husband back to life; a boy's anger at his absent father leads him towards an act of destruction in the basement of his school. These are just some of the characters and events which are given life in A. J. Ashworth's Scott Prize-winning collection Somewhere Else, or Even Here. The stories, described as 'dark' and 'delicious' by the writer Maggie Gee, explore themes of loss and loneliness, desire and hope - with characters left to navigate the shifting landscapes of their lives. A. J. Ashworth captures, with honesty, the collisions that can happen between human beings, whether it's a couple facing up to life after the death of a child, or lovers broken apart by infidelities either real or imagined. She explores those moments of realisation, those turning points, which will continue to resonate throughout the lives of her characters - those people who, even in small ways, will be forever changed, forever cut loose from their earlier selves.
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A. J. Ashworth was born and brought up in Lancashire and is a former journalist. She studied writing at Lancaster University and also Sheffield Hallam University, where she was awarded an MA in 2010. Her stories have been published in a number of literary magazines, in print and on the web, and also listed in competitions such as the Willesden Herald International Short Story Competition and the Fish Short Story Prize. Her debut collection, Somewhere Else, or Even Here, won Salt Publishing's Scott Prize and was later recommended for the Guardian First Book Award by writer and blogger Elizabeth Baines.
By James Wall 05 Mar 2012
This collection of short stories won the Scott Prize, and it is clear from the first story just why. A.J. Ashworth takes us into the worlds her characters inhabit and we are immediately lost in the beautiful prose and the startling imagery she employs. From the first line of the opening story, 'Sometimes Gulls Kill Other Gulls, there is something unsettling that we are being granted a glimpse of, yet we know were are in in safe hands of an accomplished writer. Hard to think that this is her debut.
There is the heartbreaking loss of a child in Paper Lanterns, an ageing woman interviewed by a local reporter about her forthcoming golden wedding anniversary against her struggles with her husband's fading memory, the lengths a a woman goes to following the loss of her husband. All written with a fluency and a freshness of prose that makes you sit up and savour these wonderful stories.
I can't wait to read her next collection.
These stories are impeccably crafted and easy to read, and a useful collection for dissection by the reading group.--John Oakley "Newbooks "
Table of contents
Sometimes Gulls Kill Other Gulls The Future Husband Coconut Shy Paper Lanterns Bone Fire Zero Gravity Bananas The Prophecy Eggshells Tattoo Trees Offerings Overnight Miracles The Rings of Saturn