SHORTLISTED FOR THE GUARDIAN FIRST BOOK AWARD 2015
SHORTLISTED FOR THE SUNDAY TIMES/PETERS FRASER & DUNLOP YOUNG WRITER OF THE YEAR AWARD
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.
The women are united by both small miracles and miseries: 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. Their interconnected stories form a deeply affecting legacy of two island families bound not just by blood, but by fate.
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.
[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.
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.
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.
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.
Chloé Zhao made history when she became the first woman of Asian descent to win an Oscar for Best Director. Here are some books that offer insight into her Best Picture-winning film.
Sara Taylor, author of The Shore on multi-threaded narratives and how asking questions can help shape the story