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  • Summary

  • From L.A. to rural Ireland, from war-torn Beirut to a windswept Scottish coastline, from the bright lights of the theatre to the dimness of the therapist’s office - these six outstanding and impactful stories seek to explore grief and trauma, new beginnings and hope.

    The shortlisted stories have all been chosen for 2021's Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award - the world's richest and most prestigious prize for a single short story. Dubbed the 'equivalent of the Man Booker for the short story' by the Sydney Morning Herald, the winner receives £30,000.

    While the stories vary greatly in setting and subject, they are all linked through each author's masterful ability to create an exceptional narrative within just 6,000 words. As judge Yiyun Li put it: ‘the six stories on the shortlist are each a gem: within limited space they give us the wide world with its messiness, complexities, and lives lived both in the deepest isolation and with the deepest connection’.

    ©2021 Audible, Ltd (P)2021 Audible, Ltd
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Episodes
  • Ep. 1: The July War

    Jul 7 2021

    This coming of age story is set amid what the author calls the ‘traumatic and surreal’ experience of the July War in Beirut. Against the backdrop of war and its fallout, a young teenager faces smaller but no less intimidating personal conflicts, including his emerging sexuality, his relationship with his father, the aggressive attentions of a bully and a reluctant friendship with a refugee. Small and large scale devastations converge to contrast the unfairness, injustice and confusion of two very different battlefields.

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    38 mins
  • Ep. 2: Flashlight

    Jul 7 2021

    A 10-year-old girl sees a psychologist in the aftermath of her father’s drowning, amid concerns about her behaviour and refusal to confront her grief. This is a heart-breaking story about trauma, bereavement and failing relationships, and an exploration of a child’s desperate attempt to achieve agency in her life.

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    39 mins
  • Ep. 3: Sleeping Beauty

    Jul 7 2021

    A children’s entertainer scrapes a living attending birthday parties dressed as various Disney Princesses. She arrives at her final booking of the day hungover, late and dishevelled – only to discover that there are no small children present; rather, she is the ‘surprise’ for a 40 year old man.

    As she assimilates to the weirdness of the party, her thoughts continually return to her own child, who she has a rare chance to spend time with the next day. Much like the heroines of the original, dark fairytales, this story sees its princess teeter perilously close to the brink, as subtle yet sinister details seep into the seemingly light premise.

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    33 mins

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Awful awful narrators

They might as have been reading a shopping list. I used to be a teacher and thet sounded like children do when they read out loud.

2 people found this helpful

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da first narrator tho!

It's a miracle that I powered through the awful narration in the first story. Please change it. Its a story written in simple English but together with an expressionless narrater has the effect of reducing overall IQ of reader and author of subsequent storys. Sadly that first story doesn't particularly transport me anywhere other than an inner London poor performing comprehensive. re think the order and first narrator.

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Eugh, trite and facile

I was really hoping to enjoy these shorts. I typically listen to alot of non-fiction so use fiction as a respite from those. I had to stop listening to this selection, the first two were simply dire. The narration if the first is the worst I've ever heard and the story of the second is just plain dull. Such a shame, as I'd love to support the works of budding writers. But, when you listen to the likes of J.G. Ballard's shorts where you are whisked away from the first sentence, it is clear these authors have alot of work to do.