“a marvellously absorbing novel…” The Guardian

The River Is The River book cover

The Guardian:

“Jonathan Buckley, recent winner of the BBC national short story award, has written a marvellously absorbing novel that is both an account of the relationship between sisters Kate and Naomi and, with the lightest of touches, a disquisition on the nature of storytelling itself. Kate’s tentative work on a novel (which the reader is gently invited to judge in terms of its likely success or failure) is interrupted by a visit from Naomi, with whom she has a tense relationship, coloured by past awkwardness. Naomi is driven to recount other people’s stories in order to reassure Kate that the abrupt swerve her life is taking is going to be good for her. In particular, Naomi tells her about Bernát, a Hungarian man with whom she has formed a strong and unusual friendship. In conjuring Bernát through retelling his stories at one remove, the scaffolding that supports the novelist’s work is laid bare.Read more

‘Briar Road’ wins BBC National Short Story Award 2015

bbcnssa_2015_logo_webJonathan Buckley’s ‘Briar Road’, a story about a psychic investigates the case of a missing teenager has won the 10th annual BBC National Short Story Award.

Jonathan was presented with the prize of £15,000 by this year’s Chair of Judges Allan Little at a ceremony held in the BBC’s Radio Theatre in London. The news was announced live on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row, during a special programme celebrating the short story and featuring William Boyd.

Mark Haddon was selected as the runner-up and received £3,000 for his story ‘Bunny’.

Chair of Judges, Allan Little, commented:

“Jonathan Buckley’s ‘Briar Road’ is a quiet intriguing mystery and focuses on a single moment in the life of one family who have turned to a spiritualist after their teenage daughter has disappeared.  The prose is understated, stark and plain. The intrigue builds as key details are revealed slowly, hinted at and suggested rather than spelled out. Read more


Nostalgia book cover

The small Tuscan town of Castelluccio is preparing for its annual festival, a spectacular pageant in which a leading role will be taken by the self-exiled English painter Gideon Westfall. A man proudly out of step with modernity, Westfall is regarded by some as a maestro, but in Castelluccio – as in the wider art world – he has his enemies, and his niece – just arrived from England – is no great admirer either. And a local girl is missing, a disappearance that seems to implicate the artist.

But the life and art of Gideon Westfall form just one strand of Nostalgia, a novel that teems with incidents and characters, from religious visionaries to folk heroes. Constantly shifting between the panoramic and the intimate, between the past and the present, Nostalgia is a fiction into which are woven the kaleidoscopic narratives of art, architecture, history, legend and much more.

Sunday Times – Book of the Year
From a multitude of angles – history, geography, present and past residents, flora, fauna, festivals – a small Tuscan town is brought to teeming, vivid life.

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