Edge Hill Short Story Prize
Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book of the Year
This fascinating, fact-inspired fiction collection from Emma Donoghue, author of the bestselling Room, is a sequence of fourteen stories about travels to, in, and from North America.
With the turn of each page, the characters that roam across these pages go astray. They are emigrants, runaways, drifters; gold miners and counterfeiters, attorneys and slaves. They cross borders of race, law, sex, and sanity. They travel for love or money, under duress or incognito.
Donoghue describes the brutal plot hatched by a slave in conjunction with his master's wife to set them both free, and takes us to an early Puritan community in Massachusetts unsettled by an invented sex scandal. Astray also includes 'The Hunt', a shocking confession of one soldier's violent betrayal during the American Revolution, which was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Short Story Award.
These strange, true tales light up four centuries of wanderings, offering a past in scattered pieces, and a surprising and moving history for restless times.
‘Time and again, Emma Donoghue writes books that are unlike anything I have ever seen before, and Astray is no exception.’ Ann Patchett, author of State of Wonder
‘Emma Donoghue is one of the great literary ventriloquists of our time. Her imagination is kaleidoscopic. She steps borders and boundaries with great ease and style. In her hands the centuries dissolve, and then they crystallize back again into powerful words on the page.’ Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin
‘Superb . . . read this book. It is a gem.’ Sunday Times