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Hayes & Jarvis are proud to present the shortlist for the Stanford Travel Writing Awards 2018. Epitomising the spirit of...

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Hayes & Jarvis are proud to present the shortlist for the Stanford Travel Writing Awards 2018. Epitomising the spirit of Stanfords, we are the proud sponsors of the Fiction (With a sense of place) category, taking place at the Author’s Club in Central London. Here are the short-listed entrants and their books.  

Hummingbird – Tristan Hughes

Tristan’s keen appreciation of the natural world ensures his novels are as much about landscapes as the people who live in them, set amid the deep lakes and forests of northern Canada.

Tristan Hughes was born in northern Ontario and brought up on the Welsh island of Ynys Mon. He is the author of three novels, Eye Lake, Revenant, and Send My Cold Bones Home, as well as a collection of short stories, The Tower. He is a winner of the Rhys Davies Short Story Prize and is currently a senior lecturer in Creative Writing at Cardiff University

Here Comes the Sun – Nicole Dennis-Benn

This is a debut novel by Jamaican author Nicole Dennis-Benn set in Montego Bay. Here Comes the Sungives a dramatic glimpse into a vibrant, passionate world of Jamaica that most outsiders see simply as paradise. The book provides a perception of the lives and struggles the residents of hotel resorts go through.

The Bureau of Second Chances – Sheena Kalayil

After more than thirty years in London, recently-widowed Thomas Imbalil returns to India and finds the country familiar in some ways, yet alien in others. Returning to his house in a fishing village in Kerala, he agrees to look after an optician’s business belonging to his friend. He hasn’t retired, then, but neither has he found himself a long-term or sustainable way of life to replace the stable situation he had in London. Soon, however, Thomas finds himself embroiled in a side-business run by optical assistant Rani, who wants to help people find a second chance at love after the pain of divorce.

Sheena Kalayil was born in Zambia in 1970 where her parents were teachers seconded from Kerala, India. She arrived in the UK aged eighteen, after graduating, worked all over the world. She now teaches at the University of Manchester and is currently completing a doctorate in Linguistics. The Bureau of Second Chances is Sheena’s debut novel.

Towards Mellbreak – Marie-Elsa Bragg

This fascinating novel is set in rural Cumbria. Based on real events, it tells of four generations of one farming family, with a heart-breaking story at its centre.

Marie-Elsa Bragg is half-French, half-Cumbrian and was brought up in London. She studied Philosophy and Theology at Oxford University and trained for the Priesthood at Ripon College Cuddesdon, Oxford University. She is a Priest in the Diocese of London, an Ignatian Spiritual Director, therapist and a Duty Chaplain of Westminster Abbey.

Pachinko – Min Jin Lee

Pachinko follows one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea. Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, has an unplanned pregnancy which threatens to shame the family. Deserted by her lover, Sunja is saved when a young tubercular minister offers to marry and bring her to Japan. 

So begins a sweeping saga of an exceptional family in exile, caught within an unsympathetic era of history. Through desperate struggles and hard-won triumphs, its members are bound together by deep roots as they face enduring questions of faith, family, and identity.

Min Jin Lee is a Korean-American writer whose work frequently deals with Korean American topics. She is a highly accredited author with many awards to her name.

Her features about books, travel and food have appeared in The New York Times MagazineThe New York Times Book ReviewThe Times Literary Supplement, Conde Nast Traveler, The Times of London, Vogue (US), Travel + Leisure (SEA),Literary Hub, Wall Street Journal and Food & Wine. 

These Dividing Walls – Fran Cooper

The novel is a multi-layered story of an apartment block in Paris and its inhabitants. Inspired by Fran Coopers own experiences while living in Paris, These Dividing Walls tells the story of the intimacy neighbours have with each other, despite remaining strangers in the hallway or courtyard.  

Fran Cooper grew up in London before reading English at Cambridge and Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art. She spent three years in Paris writing a PhD about travelling eighteenth-century artists, and currently works in the curatorial department of a London museum. These Dividing Walls is her first novel.

Written by: Sarah Locke
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