Addled by grief after the death of his wife, and prompted by reports of colossal animal bones found in Kentucky, John Cyrus Bellman sets off on his quest, leaving behind his only daughter, Bess, to be cared for by her aunt.While Bellman ventures farther into the wilderness, forging an uneasy fellowship with his guide, a Native American boy, Bess traces her father's path on maps at the local library and keeps out of the way of their peculiar neighbour Elmer Jackson.Bold and lyrical, West is a brief epic, a micro masterpiece about love, reckless determination and yearning for the unknown.
'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 * '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 * '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 * '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 * `Carys Davies deserves every accolade she has received.' * Elizabeth Harrower *
Carys Davies is the author of Some New Ambush and The Redemption of Galen Pike, published in one volume by Text as The Travellers and Other Stories. She won the 2015 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. Born in Wales, she lives in Lancaster in northwest England.