West by Carys Davies
A Novel

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A Welsh native now living in northern England, Davies conjures the frontier ethos and landscape in a spare yet elegant prose. Her imagery and cadences glide beautifully into place.
-Star Tribune

Synopsis

“There are many worlds to explore within this deceptively short book, which gallops towards its conclusion with a mythic inevitability. You won’t be able to turn back.” —The Guardian

“Slender, stark, and utterly mesmerizing.” —The Mail on Sunday

When widowed mule breeder Cy Bellman reads in the newspaper that colossal ancient bones have been discovered in the salty Kentucky mud, he sets out from his small Pennsylvania farm to see for himself if the rumors are true: that the giant monsters are still alive and roam the uncharted wilderness beyond the Mississippi River. Promising to write and to return in two years, he leaves behind his only daughter, Bess, to the tender mercies of his taciturn sister and heads west.

With only a barnyard full of miserable animals and her dead mother’s gold ring to call her own, Bess, unprotected and approaching womanhood, fills lonely days tracing her father’s route on maps at the subscription library and waiting for his letters to arrive. Bellman, meanwhile, wanders farther and farther from home, across harsh and alien landscapes, in reckless pursuit of the unknown.

From Frank O’Connor Award winner Carys Davies, West is a spellbinding and timeless epic-in-miniature, an eerie parable of the American frontier and an electric monument to possibility.
 

About Carys Davies

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Carys's stories have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and widely published in magazines and anthologies. She won the 2010 Society of Authors' Olive Cook Award, the 2011 Royal Society of Literature's V.S. Pritchett Prize and a 2013 Northern Writers' Award, and has been shortlisted and longlisted for many other prizes, including the Wales Book of the Year, the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award and the William Trevor/ Elizabeth Bowen Short Story Prize.
 
Published April 24, 2018 by Scribner. 160 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Westerns. Fiction
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Critic reviews for West
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Star Tribune

Good
Reviewed by Hamilton Cain on May 17 2018

A Welsh native now living in northern England, Davies conjures the frontier ethos and landscape in a spare yet elegant prose. Her imagery and cadences glide beautifully into place.

Read Full Review of West: A Novel | See more reviews from Star Tribune

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Justine Jordan on May 03 2018

In her slim first novel, again not a word is wasted; the canvas is as wide as her brush is fine. It opens abruptly, as though lights are coming up on a dark stage...

Read Full Review of West: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

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