Author(s): Sara Taylor
This title was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award 2015. It was also shortlisted for the Times/Peters Fraser Dunlop Young writer of the Year Award. It is longlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2015. The Shore. A collection of small islands sticking out from the coast of Virginia into the Atlantic Ocean that has been home to generations of fierce and resilient women. Sanctuary to some but nightmare to others, it's a place they've inhabited, fled, and returned to for hundreds of years. From a brave girl's determination to protect her younger sister as methamphetamine ravages their family, to a lesson in summoning storm clouds to help end a drought, these women struggle against domestic violence, savage wilderness, and the corrosive effects of poverty and addiction to secure a sense of well-being for themselves and for those they love. Their interconnecting stories form a deeply affecting legacy of two island families, illuminating the small miracles and miseries of a community of outsiders, and the bonds of blood and fate that connect them all. Dreamlike and yet impossibly real, profound and playful, the Shore is a richly unique, breathtakingly ambitious and accomplished debut novel by a young writer of astonishing gifts.
Dreamlike and yet impossibly real, profound and playful, THE SHORE is a breathtakingly ambitious and accomplished debut by a young writer of astonishing gifts. THE SHORE recalls David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad and Ulverton by Adam Thorpe.
"Taylor is blisteringly good on systemic male violence against women, but The Shore is an inspiring read rather than a bleak one, full of compelling voices, vivid stories and memorable characters. It's a great book." Sarah Waters "[A] remarkable first novel, an intricately plotted series of episodes in the life of two families ... A challenging family history of violence, murder, rape, castration and magic ... Taylor is a terrific storyteller with a flawless narrative voice and, as a portrait of the impoverished rural south, this novel is a real achievement ... There are ambitious experiments ...The Shore is a mesmerising, powerful read." The Times "An exuberant talent announces her arrival in this Baileys-nominated collection of interlinked stories touching on murder, misogyny and morality ... To find the connections between stories, you have to follow names, places and even objects through 200 years of timeline ... It's a strange but pleasurable way to read, an experience at once postmodern and childish ...The green, lush landscape, the oyster beds, insects and crabs, are evoked through so many eyes and felt by so many hands that we start to believe in their enduring existence, giving backbone and depth to the green politics of the book ...Taylor, it seems, can do dark realism as well as she can the magic kind - in fact, she seems able to do most things. This debut is a testament to an exuberant talent and an original, fearless sensibility. It's also enormous fun to read." Guardian "Taylor is a beautiful writer, exceptionally talented in fact, and brings us lyrically into the hearts of each of her many characters ... I do look forward to reading more Taylor." Irish Independent "I'm very fond of this book...It's very Southern Gothic...It's blisteringly good on systemic male violence against women...It also has moments of humour...It's written in a very lively, compelling way. It's a great book." -- Sarah Waters, Radio 4 Open Book
Sara Taylor is herself a socially anxious product of rural Virginia and the homeschooling movement. She traded her health for a BFA from Randolph College, and her sanity for an MA in Prose Fiction from the University of East Anglia. Following the MA her supervisor refused to let her leave, so she remains at the UEA to chip away at a double-focus PhD in censorship and fiction. She spends an unprecedented amount of time on delayed trains between Norwich and her husband's house in Reading, and tends to get lost, rained on, and chased by cows with unsettling frequency.