This month marks the start of Read Regional (March to June 2016), a chance to become acquainted with ten Northern authors, from poet Kim Moore to crime author Helen Cadbury. The ten selected books are available in libraries across the region, with author events providing a chance to ask questions and be inspired.

The first in my series of Read Regional reviews is a short story collection from Carys Davies, who has won numerous awards including the 2015 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize. The literary feel of this collection comes from a certain quality of sparse photorealism in the descriptions, and in fact the author says in her interview for Read Regional that most of her stories are inspired by an image.

These are images which haunt the reader long after you put the book down: a prisoner in a cell talking to an old woman, a body found on the shore, a snowy scene with a person frozen on a sledge, a woman struggling her way across a lonely moor to find someone who can help her. The struggle is then to find out why, who and what it means. Every story packs a real emotional punch, as well as providing resolutions which are both unexpected and fits the characters so perfectly that it makes you gasp. Highly recommended – I’m looking forward to reading her other works!

What to Read Next: