Sweet Home

Wendy Erskine

27 June 2019
224 pages


'A gripping, wonderfully understated book that oozes humanity, emotion and humour.' Guardian

Shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize 2019

Longlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize 2019

Longlisted for the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award 2019

A Book of the Year in the Guardian, The White Review, Observer, New Statesman, TLS.

Set in the author’s native Belfast, the ten stories in Sweet Home lay bare the heartbreak and quiet tragedies that run under the surface of everyday lives. A lonely woman is fascinated by her niqab-wearing neighbours; a middle-aged teacher becomes obsessed with a young Gaelic football player; and an employer covers for his two employees caught having sex in a public toilet.

Wendy Erskine offers perfectly formed, brilliantly observed portraits of people trying to carve out a life for themselves, all the while being buffeted by the loss, grief and regret that come their way. Warm, compassionate and funny, Sweet Home captures life in contemporary East Belfast, in all of its forms.

Shot through with glimmering beauty, Sweet Home is a delight.
An exceptional ear for dialogue, an impeccable semantic rhythm and an uncanny ability to tease laughter out of the darkest moments mean Erskine is perfectly poised to stare, unflinching, into our neoliberal abyss. The result is a gripping, wonderfully understated book that oozes humanity, emotion and humour.
Spiky and funny, dark and stylish – Wendy Erskine is a natural-born story-teller, and this is a brilliant debut collection.

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