'A gripping, wonderfully understated book that oozes humanity, emotion and humour.' Guardian
Winner of the 2020 Butler Literary Award
Shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize 2019
Shortlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize 2019
Longlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize and the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award 2019
‘Wendy Erskine’s first collection, Sweet Home . . . is every bit as good as her early stories in the always astute Stinging Fly magazine promised.’ Jon McGregor, New Statesman
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.
A Book of the Year in the Guardian, The White Review, Observer, New Statesman, TLS.
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.
The best collection of short stories I've read since - ooh - Raymond Carver. It's that good.