Pub Date 03 May 2018
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When Cy Bellman, American settler and widowed father of Bess, reads in the newspaper that huge ancient bones have been discovered in a Kentucky swamp, he leaves his small Pennsylvania farm and young daughter to find out if the rumours are true: that the giant monsters are still alive, and roam the uncharted wilderness beyond the Mississippi River.
West is the story of Bellman's journey and of Bess, waiting at home for her father to return. Written with compassionate tenderness and magical thinking, it explores the courage of conviction, the transformative power of grief, the desire for knowledge and the pull of home, from an exceptionally talented and original British writer. It is a radiant and timeless epic-in-miniature, an eerie, electric monument to possibility.
"West has all the stark power and immediacy of a folk-tale or a legend. It is also structured with great artistry, a beguiling sense of form and pace, and a depth in the way the characters are created, making clear that Carys Davies is a writer of immense talent." --Colm Toibin, author of Brooklyn and House of Names
"Menace and mordant wit are the blood that runs through these veins, but there's a pulse of wonder in Carys Davies' West. She sees the world and its inhabitants both as we hope they are and as we fear that they might be. An audacious and enigmatic debut of thrilling dimensions, and a reminder of fiction's possibilities."-- Akhil Sharma, author of Family Life and A Life of Adventure and Delight
"A story of determination, betrayal, folly, and reckless hope written in the grand tradition of the pioneers. You enter the familiar American frontier and shortly are convinced, with Davies' hero, that the mammoths of the Pleistocene still shyly roam the Plains. The seams between imagination and history in this extraordinary story are invisible. I believed every word." --Salvatore Scibona, author of The End
"West is a journey and a wonder. A man leaves what he loves and goes west in search of the amazing. A story concerned with value and language, love and absence, life and death. A debut of real distinction." --Bernard MacLaverty, author of Midwinter Break and Cal
"To read Carys Davies' West is to encounter a myth, or a potent dream--a narrative at once new and timeless. Exquisite, continent, utterly vivid, this short novel will live on in your imagination long after you read the last page." --Claire Messud, author of The Burning Girl and The Woman Upstairs