18 February, 2019
University of Southampton presents
Short story writer Eley Williams, winner of the Republic of Consciousness Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize 2018, will read and discuss her work, part of the University of Southampton English department’s Writers in Conversation series.
Williams’s debut collection of stories, Attrib. and other stories, centres upon the difficulties of communication and the way in which one’s thoughts — absurd, encompassing, oblique — may never be fully communicable and yet can overwhelm.
Attrib. and other stories celebrates the tricksiness of language just as it confronts its limits. Correspondingly, the stories are littered with the physical ephemera of language: dictionaries, dog-eared pages, bookmarks and old coffee stains on older books. This is writing that centres on the weird, tender intricacies of the everyday where characters vie to 'own' their words, tell tall tales and attempt to define their worlds.
With affectionate, irreverent and playful prose, the inability to communicate exactly what we mean dominates this bold debut collection from one of Britain’s most original new writers.
Williams will read from and talk about her work, also answering questions from the audience in a forum moderated by Carole Burns, a fiction writer, journalist and head of creative writing at the University of Southampton.
Stories by Williams have been anthologised in The Penguin Book of the Contemporary British Short Story (Penguin Classics, 2018) and Liberating the Canon (Dostoevsky Wannabe, 2018). She is a Fellow of the MacDowell Colony and the Royal Society of Literature.
Writers in Conversation features some of today’s best fiction writers, poets, non-fiction writers and playwrights reading from their work and talking about their writing lifestyle - how characters take shape and where ideas come from. Led by creative writing lecturers at the University of Southampton, the event takes place in the Studio space at Nuffield Campus, helping to create an evening that is relaxed, engaging and intelligent, yet informal.