New Statesman — Books of the Year 2017

The Telegraph — Books of the Year 2017

Guardian — Best Books of the Year 2017

Australian Book Review — Books of the Year 2017

Selected by Ali Smith as one of 2017’s best debut fiction at the Cambridge Literary Festival

Recommended read for Spring 2017, The Fader

Selected as a ‘Best Holiday Read 2017’, Guardian

Selected as a Waterstones’ Summer 2017 Recommended Read

Runner-up at the Saboteur Awards 2017 for ‘Best Collection of Short Stories’

National Poetry Day


That occasional unwitting-alter ego Ely Williams doing well, I see.



Upcoming readings


A couple of prattles forthcoming this Autumn:

  • 18th September — Reading with Judith Goldman as part of Royal Holloway Poetics Research Centre. 11 Bedford Square, Bloomsbury, London. WC1B 3RF, 7pm.

  • 21st September — Participating in a ‘Novel Writer’s conversation’ at Spike Island in Bristol. Tickets priced at £5 and £3 concessions, with booking advised. Spike Island, 133 Cumberland Road, Bristol, BS1 6UX, 6.30-8pm.
  • 28th September — Providing questionable content for National Poetry Day at The Alfred Tennyson, 7pm. 10 Motcomb St, Belgravia, London SW1X 8LA.

  • 22nd October — Supporting the launch of Tom O. C. Wilson’s new album ‘Tell A Friend’. More details here, doors 7pm. Servant Jazz Quarters, 10a Bradbury Street, London N16 8JN.
  • 27th October — Participation at UEA Live for The Writers’ Centre, Norwich. Further details concerning the day available here.  The Pig and Whistle, 2-8 All Saints Green, Norwich NR1 3NA. 6.30pm, freeee.





Thanks to Backlisted Podcast for their warm, warm, warm words about Attrib. (and a great reading from ‘Synaesthete, Would Like To Meet’!) — a fantastic listen every fortnight, please do subscribe to the show and enjoy this full episode embedded below featuring an account of John Simmons‘ most recent novel as well as The Great and The Good Sarah Perry discussing Gosse’s Father & Son (1907).

And congratulations to hosts John Mitchinson and Andy Miller for Backlisted being named ‘Podcast of the Week’ by the Radio Times!

Nice things have been said. Here are a couple.

I am verklempt and vulgar with thanks.

* Selected by Ali Smith as one of 2017’s best debut fiction at the Cambridge Literary Festival *

* Recommended read for Spring 2017, The Fader *

* Selected as a ‘Best Holiday Read 2017’, Guardian *

* Selected as a Waterstones’ Summer 2017 Recommended Read*

* Runner-up at the Saboteur Awards 2017 for ‘Best Collection of Short Stories’ *


It’s just the real inexplicable gorgeous brilliant thing this book. I love it in a way I usually reserve for people.
– Max Porter, author of Grief Is The Thing With Feathers

She is a writer for whom one struggles to find comparison, because she has arrived in a class of her own: witty, melancholy, occasionally sensual, occasionally mordant, elegantly droll without the kind of hipster quirkiness that makes me want to hurl books at the wall. She has in common with George Saunders the ability to be both playful and profound, and we are lucky to have her.
– Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent. ‘Best Holiday Reads 2017’, The Guardian

…a joyous collection of moments, of love, of language, with such a light, skilled touch.
– Aliya Whiteley, author of The Beauty

The letters in her words seemed to be drawn from adjacent parts of the alphabet. They had thought about themselves and one another. There was something collusive about them. They backed up one another’s story. They had demanded to be consulted, and come to their own unconventional arrangements. It all makes for alphabetophile writing. In the reader, it produces a kind of constructive estrangement from words. Think William Gass, Lydia Davis or Anne Carson, and you won’t be too wrong.
– Michael Hofmann, The London Review of Books

Fiddling with words, as if playing with them were all that mattered, her characters draw time to a standstill–then they stop, suddenly, blinking and thrilled. It’s beautiful, the way they get lost.
– The Guardian

Funny, playful and utterly bravura, it deserves to be read by everyone with a love of words and an interest in the way deftly wielded language and original ideas can come together to detonate on the page.
– Melissa Harrison, Financial Times

An emotionally delicate and tenderly introspective collection.
– New Statesman

The possibilities these stories imply are many, one of them being that you, the reader, could be their unnamed narrator. That’s why, like all good literature, they feel so personal, immediate and incredibly urgent.
– New Humanist

Williams’ writerly roots in poetry and poetic prose shine throughout this stunning collection of almost intimidatingly intelligent and creative work.
– Mslexia

So good it makes me giddy. For God’s sake, buy a copy.
– Caught by the River

Williams brings these moments of internal intensity into the spotlight, with 170 pages that positively glow.
– The Fader’s Spring Recommendations 2017

[A] series of short stories in which language as you know it gets away from you and becomes something different – refreshing, original and delightful.’
– The British Council’s ‘What We’re Reading This Summer’

Williams has a completely unique voice and explores language with a quirky, intelligent hand. These stories are impulsive, darkly comic and utterly compelling.
– Waterstones Summer 2017 Recommendations

These are stories that are so repeatedly re-readable – for their humour, their humanity and their sheer revelry in the textual matter of the language from which they are made: the physical, pleasurable, palpable, enigmatic and unguent words and all they carry with them.
– The Contemporary Small Press

Williams’ USP (even, at times, brilliance), is to drop us in on lives at seemingly innocuous moments—and then wrong-foot the reader, contort the unfolding story, and ultimately distil something elemental from the seemingly banal.
– 3:AM

Nearly every sentence here dazzles with somersaults.
– Minor Literature(s)

Williams’ writing is emotionally engaged and linguistically playful. This collection has been highly acclaimed for all the right reasons – it is gorgeous, moving, intelligent, it contains striking images and nuanced emotion.
– Triumph of the Now

Attrib. especially works as a series of beautifully written detached vignettes upon the themes of language and love. And what finer themes are there?
– Turnaround Blog

The stories in Attrib. are such treats they deserve to be read like a properly made coffee: don’t take too much at once; enjoy in your favourite place; let each story percolate.
– The Fountain



(‘Twitter personality’. Well now.)

Brief word of pride: Influx Press’ collection An Unreliable Guide to London has been nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award for best edited anthology. Every nominated press gets an engraved pebble-lot, which if you’ve read The Lottery you’ll know is entirely wonderfully terrifying.

I teach Shirley Jackson‘s short stories, and it’s a real honour that the weird and cryptozoologiodd tales in the Unreliable Guide can been found on a list dedicated to celebrating what is best in her work, let alone that it appears on the same roster as Emma Cline, Emma Donoghue, Helen Oyeyemi, Camilla Grudova and Irenosen Okojie this year. Fingers and tentacles and everything crossed.

Supporting the launch of Gregory Normington‘s great new collection The Ghost Who Bled.

What a thing what a thing. Reading alongside Jan Carson and Greg at Waterstones Piccadilly,  203-206 Piccadilly, St. James’s, London W1J 9HD. Tickets available —  7.00pm, £8 — here.

Really excited to support the double-launch event for Isabel Waidner‘s queer avant-garde novel Gaudy Bauble (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2017), and ‘Not Here, a queer anthology of loneliness’ (Pilot Press, 2017) edited by Richard Dodwell.

Other reader/performers on the night include Timothy Thornton, Olivia Laing, and a DJ set with Chapter 10’s Charlie Porter. All taking place at The Horse Hospital, Colonnade, Bloomsbury, London, WC1N 1JD —  7.00pm, £3 — tickets available here.



I’ve been pretty remiss in updating here—most of my time since February has been spent working out how to get an em dash to appear on screen. But! Will try and make amends. Nice things have been said and all is well. And! There’s a new site here that attempts to make any account of what I do seem professional: I will fail to update that too but on a purely professional basis.