The Redemption of Galen Pike

By Carys Davies

The Redemption of Galen Pike
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From remote Australian settlements to the snows of Siberia, from Colorado to Cumbria, restless teenagers, middle-aged civil servants, and Quaker spinsters traverse expanses of solitude to reveal the secrets of the human heart.

Encountering domestic abuse, marital strife, murder, ... Read more


Overview

From remote Australian settlements to the snows of Siberia, from Colorado to Cumbria, restless teenagers, middle-aged civil servants, and Quaker spinsters traverse expanses of solitude to reveal the secrets of the human heart.

Encountering domestic abuse, marital strife, murder, and a myriad of other challenges, Carys Davies' characters are set on journeys that surprise at every turn. Written with raw and rigorous prose, charged throughout by a prickly wit, the stories in The Redemption of Galen Pike remind us how little we know of the lives of others.

Carys Davies

Carys Davies is the author of two collections of short stories, The Redemption of Galen Pike and Some New Ambush. She is the winner of the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize, the Royal Society of Literature's V.S. Pritchett Memorial Prize, the Society of Authors' Olive Cook Short Story Award, a Northern Writers' Award, and is currently a 2016-2017 Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library. Born in Wales, she usually lives in north-west England.

Reviews

WINNER OF THE 2015 FRANK O'CONNOR INTERNATIONAL SHORT STORY AWARD

Praise for Carys Davies and The Redemption of Galen Pike

“A perfectly formed gem ... Davies has an enviable talent for creating entire internal universes for her characters ... This sophisticated collection observes that everyone contains multitudes, and people’s darkest corners are what make them interesting. The book never falters in its delicate touch and confident, nuanced observations about the human condition.”Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“Rooted in local realities, Carys Davies’s characters live lives that are, in Keats’s phrase, ‘like the scriptures, figurative.’ And her writing is an act not of transfiguration, but of revelation.”—David Constantine, author of the 2016 NYT Notable Book The Life-Writer

“Oh my God! Oh my God! It was so great! The Redemption of Galen Pike. A collection of short stories. I never read short stories. This book is so wonderful. One of the clerks at Three Lives Bookstore convinced me to get that book. It’s fantastic!”—Sarah Jessica Parker, star of Sex and the City

“Sometimes you want something that packs satisfaction in a short burst of reading. This book is it. Welsh writer Davies’ short stories are beautifully crafted and pull you in, delivering twists and insights that you simply didn’t see coming. One of the best books to come out this year.”—Deborah Dundas, The Toronto Star

“The stories in The Redemption of Galen Pike are tiny marvels of technique and language ... [it] feels startlingly original, in part precisely because of the restraint the author exhibits. Davies’s technically accomplished, glancing tales offer the frisson of the unexpected.”—The Globe & Mail

“This is Davies’ strength: the unexpected. Not a single one of the seventeen stories that make up this magnificent book is predictable—not even in their unpredictability ... What these stories do have in common, however, is an overwhelming sympathy for what it means to be human; an understanding of the fear, doubt, and sorrow that we all face—and of the hope, too, that urges us on.”—The Toronto Star

“This is a slim collection of stories but oh it be mighty! Each story is a gem, a wildly imaginative look at the hardships and beauty of life. Davies infuses each interesting tale with raw emotion and observations as her characters grapple with the unpredictability of the world.”—Liberty Hardy, Book Riot

“These are absolutely perfect ... They're always a little bit dark, a little bit odd, always absolutely beautiful and hard to forget.”—The Thread, Minnesota Public Radio

“Like Chekhov’s great stories Davies’ stories are deceptively simple. They reward re-reading not by resolving the core mystery, but by revealing layers of meaning and complexity.”—Ladette Randolph, Ploughshares

“Completely stole my heart ... might just be my favourite short story collection of all time”Simon Savidge, Savidge Reads

“Carys Davies is able to craft a complete story featuring complex characters in 10 pages or less — a rare skill. In her second collection, The Redemption of Galen Pike, Davies again proves her mastery of the form.”—Winnipeg Free Press

“Davies’s stories plumb the depths of silence and estrangement, bringing up moments of extraordinary insight about what holds people together and what drives them apart.”—Laurie Greer, Politics & Prose Bookstore

“Darkly funny and unsettling.”—The Independent

“A truly original and striking collection, full of funny, keenly observed stories replete with twists and turns that surprise”—Éibhear Walshe, The Frank O’Connor Short Story Award judge

“Outstanding ... perfectly distilled, intense ... exquisite.”—The Yorkshire Post

What Booksellers Are Saying About The Redemption Of Galen Pike

The Redemption of Galen Pike is a beguiling story collection. With spare prose and deceptive simplicity, Carys Davies roams the incommensurable frontier between her characters, illuminating the unknowable with precision and style. I downed it like an elixir.”—Stephen Sparks, Point Reyes Books & Green Apple Books

“Davies’s stories plumb the depths of silence and estrangement, bringing up moments of extraordinary insight about what holds people together and what drives them apart.”—Laurie Greer, Politics & Prose Bookstore

“Davies has a Bierce-like ability to set the shot so perfectly you don't see the target until it’s already bleeding. The redemption in question bristles with an electric irony so sly, it might be easy to miss if it weren’t both shocking and satisfying. Davies throws the reader into this constructed relationship between puritan do-gooder Patience Haim and Galen Pike, gruffian awaiting the gallows, to yes, meditate on the weird relational web of humans, but also to tell a damn good story.”—Ashanti White-Wallace, Word Bookstore

“There is nothing more satisfying than a short story collection that can leave one with a sense of wonder and fulfillment all at the same time. Carys Davies delivers this and so much more in her collection. Her stories are elegant brief interludes into the lives of others ... and with each reading (you will want to read them over and over) one finds more depth to them than before.”—Lynn Riehl, Nicola’s Books

“Great books are so often driven by voice, and the writer Carys Davies seems to have been inhabited by a multitude of them. I've only had time to meet a few of them, captivating and compelling all, so I can't wait to get home tonight to have another few transport me on my way to dreamland.”—Jonathon Welch, Talking Leaves...Books

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