The Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize 2019 (Book of the Month: September 2020)

What an absolutely wonderful selection of stories and what a fantastic prize for the talent it has been able to showcase.

How the judges chose a winner is a wonder – though the winning story, A Body Is An Empty Vessel by James Mitchell, is quite brilliant. It’s so refreshing to see such a diverse range of stories, voices and writing pulled together like this.

Personally, I enjoyed Life With Animals the most, as it captures the life and youth of girls and their relationships with their bodies in an effortlessly poignant manner. Every one of them leaves an imprint though: it’s as if they are all actually linked somehow (which they’re not), while still being done completely uniquely.

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It’s fitting that this photo was taken on the tube, because while I’ve been commuting to work I’ve had it in my bag and it is so perfect for whipping out between stops. I’ve actually got a short story collection in every handbag now, in case I make a speedy change and forget to swap it over – not having a short story on public transport is simply not an option.

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