Among These Animals by Gaynor Jones

Shortlisted in the Saboteur Awards 2021 – Best Novella

To outsiders they look wild, but mostly they are not. The farm children have always known how to play the dogs. They know the best places to tease them, lead them, escape them and hide from them. But lately Carys is struggling. One looks like it is going to eat her up whole, and she is going to let it. 

Among These Animals is a novella-in-flash that traces the lives of farmer Derfel and his daughter Carys from the 1950s to the 1980s in North Wales. An experimental take on a traditional historical saga, the hybrid form of the book reflects the themes within: this is a story about how family can break us, but can also put us back together again.

‘Gaynor Jones is surely one of the most deft and skilful flash fiction writers we have. She does the hard, hidden work needed to make the page feel effortless, and has a fine-tuned instinct for knowing what not to name or say. It is one of the most powerful and assured novellas-in-flash I’ve encountered in recent years – defiant, passionate, and seething with life.’
– Michael Loveday, author of Three Men on the Edge

‘A beautiful and deftly-told tale of a family attempting to navigate grief. Jones’s trademark precise prose and potent imagery combine to create a strong current that flows beneath the surface. Quietly powerful, this is a collection of stories that whisper their way into one’s mind.’
– Lucie McKnight Hardy author of Water Shall Refuse Them

‘Among These Animals explores a rural existence far from the country idyll, deftly sketched in Gaynor Jones’s vivid and unflinching prose, and darkly laced with tendrils of fairy tale. This is a shiny gem of a novella.’
– Chloe Turner, author of Witches Sail in Eggshells

Front cover image via unsplash.com