A seaside pier collapses.
Two boys discover a gun in a shoebox.
A woman is abandoned on a tiny island in the middle of the ocean.
Another woman is saved from drowning.
Superbly crafted with rich language and vivid imagery, Mark Haddon’s first collection of short stories reminds us why he’s considered one of our finest contemporary writers. Bound together by ‘an empathy for sometimes unlovable people in different situations’, the 9 stories in The Pier Falls explore identity, mortality, tragedy, luck and collective memory. They also transport the reader to surprising locations from the Amazon jungle and Ancient Greece to the surface of Mars.
Mark’s title story ‘The Pier Falls’ was long-listed for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award whilst ‘Bunny’ was runner up in the BBC National Short Story Award. In their review, the Sunday Times stated ‘the real redemption in these superbly gripping stories comes from their canny human detail, and the vivid, unsettling clarity they bring to our brief lives.’
Mark Haddon is the author of the novels The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, A Spot of Bother and The Red House. He’s also written 15 books for children and won two BAFTAs for his screenplays. His best-selling novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time won 17 literary prizes and was adapted into a hugely successful play for the National Theatre.
Mark will be in conversation with author and Observer writer Rachel Cooke.
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