The Distance Between Us: Carys Davies & Jon McGregor

Friday 24 May
National Centre for Writing at Dragon Hall
18.00 - 19.00
£ 10.00 - (£9.00 conc / £7.50 U18)

Multi-award-winning novelists Carys Davies and Jon McGregor reflect on the human impulse to connect and tell our stories even when words fail us.

Through the prism of Davies’ latest novel, Clear, they will explore solitary landscapes, hidden selves and the intricacies of language.

Carys Davies’s debut novel West was shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize and her second novel The Mission House was The Sunday Times 2020 Novel Of The Year. Her highly anticipated third novel, Clear, is a Shetland-set historical drama about the connections forged between strangers, and is a love letter to landscape, hope and human relationships. It is a Sunday Times Best Book of 2024, a BBC Radio 2 Book Club Pick, and a Waterstones Book You Need to Read in 2024.

Carys will be joined in conversation by award-winning author and short story writer Jon McGregor. His latest novel Lean Fall Stand delivers a profoundly humane and engrossing exploration of an Antarctic researcher brought low by tragedy and desperate to communicate with the outside world. 


Praise for Clear

‘With Clear, Carys Davies has again done brilliantly what she does best – saying most by saying least. She has the rare gift of eloquent brevity — Clear is astute, moving, unexpected.’ — Penelope Lively, author of Moon Tiger

‘This intriguing and inventive story escorts the reader to an unexpectedly joyous ending that hints at our contemporary interest in new ideas of what a family might be. The writing style is one of clarity and reserved sensibility punctuated with an end-game needle jab. Not to be missed.’ — Annie Proulx, author of Barkskins


Part of City of Literature weekend 2024


City of Literature is a Norfolk & Norwich Festival and National Centre for Writing presentation, programmed by the National Centre for Writing.


Carys Davies’s debut novel West was shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize, longlisted for the European Literature Prize, Runner Up for the Society of Authors’ McKitterick Prize, and winner of the Wales Book of the Year for Fiction. Her second novel The Mission House was The Sunday Times 2020 Novel Of The Year.

She is also the author of two collections of short stories, Some New Ambush and The Redemption of Galen Pike, which won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize. She is the recipient of the Royal Society of Literature’s V.S. Pritchett Prize, the Society of Authors’ Olive Cook Short Story Award, a Northern Writers’ Award, a Cullman Fellowship at the New York Public Library. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a member of the Folio Academy. 


Jon McGregor is an award-winning author and short story writer. He has been nominated for the Booker Prize for three of his novels, including his 2002 debut If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things, which also went on to win the Betty Trask Prize and the Somerset Maugham Award. So Many Ways to Begin followed in 2006. His third novel, Even the Dogs (2010) earned McGregor the International Dublin Literary Award in 2012, whilst his 2017 work Reservoir 13 scooped up the Costa Book Award. Learn Fall Stand was a Waterstones Fiction Book of the Month.