Alys Conran

One of Owen Sheers’ selected writers for the International Literature Showcase


“Alys Conran is a novelist of rare accomplishment and skill whose use of language and characterisation effortlessly carries readers away. In her second novel, Dignity, Conran draws threads of connection between colonial India and contemporary Britain to construct an exquisite and heartbreaking story of untethered belonging, friendship, trauma and how future renewal is only possible through an honest understanding of our pasts.”

– Owen Sheers

I build homes of voices, each word a stone.

Alys Conran’s first novel Pigeon (Parthian Books) won the Wales Book of the Year Award 2017 and was shortlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize. It also won the Rhys Davies Trust Fiction Award, The Wales Arts Review People’s Choice Award and was longlisted for the Author’s Choice First Novel Award. Her second novel Dignity (Weidenfeld and Nicolson) was published in 2019 to critical acclaim. She is the Hay Festival International Fellow for 2019-20. She also writes poetry, short stories, and creative essays.

‘Fierce and compassionate…’ – Mail on Sunday

‘Might have been authored by Faulkner…
just as imaginatively capacious…
Never overwrought, rather pitch-perfect.’
– Omar Sabbagh, New Welsh Review

‘Quietly brilliant.’ – Daily Mail

‘Alys Conran’s second novel, Dignity, breathes with the same kind of life that her first – the much-loved Pigeon – did… Each piece of experience, personality, and history, are fitted carefully together into Dignity like pieces of a puzzle. Crucially however, and in true Conran style, Dignity is a puzzle with no fixed border. It spills out with its questions and unlocked ideas’ – Wales Arts Review

‘… we are offered multiple views, ironies and contradictions that only one of most talented, tender writers in Wales could portray.’ – New Welsh Review

‘An exquisite novel: compassionate, beautiful and unflinching… both timeless and achingly contemporary.’ – Fiona McFarlane, award-winning author of The Night Guest

‘fierce, compassionate, angry, but above all, heart-breakingly real.’ – Claire Fuller, award-winning author of Our Endless Numbered Days and Bitter Orange

‘a beguiling book with a fierce, uncompromising quality to it – a novel that continues to unfold its meaning after the story has ended.’ – Guinevere Glasfurd, author of The Words in My Hand

“It’s quite something to be on this list. For me, the future’s a dream we wake from every moment, and this list feels, right now, a bit like being applauded in a dream.”




Download and read an extract from Dignity

Dignity (Weidenfeld and Nicolson 2019)

Pigeon (Parthian Books 2016)

Selected Short Stories:

‘The Boulevard’ in Zero Hours on the Boulevard: An Anthology of European Writing (Parthian Books, 2019)
‘Smoke’ in The Lonely Crowd (The Lonely Press, February)
‘Magu Emyr’ (Welsh) in O Mam Bach (Gwasg y Bwthyn, February 2017)
‘Leda’ in Wales Arts Review, July 2016 and also in Renegade Wales, Bee Books, India 2019
‘Pennies’ in Stand Magazine Vol 12 (4) 2014
‘The Room’ in The Manchester Review, Issue 10
‘Lobster’ in The Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology, Vol 5
‘Alex, Stupid Fuck’ in Nu: Fiction and Stuff, Parthian Books 2010
‘Mr Price’s Summer Holiday’ in Cut on the Bias: Stories About Women and The Clothes they Wear, Honno Press, 2010
‘Today and Things’ in Read This Magazine, Issue 12, 2008
‘Looking Myself Up’ in The Ranfurly Review, Vol 8, 2008

Selected Poetry:

‘Monologue in A’ in New Welsh Review, December 2016
‘Performance Between Two Points’ and ‘Freeze Block Station’ in Poetry Wales, Spring 2016
‘At The Yorkshire Sculpture Park’ and ‘Leave’ in the New Welsh Review Poetry Video Showcase, NWR Issue 109
‘Writing Slate’, ‘Silicosis’, ‘Catching the Light’, ‘Flat’ and ‘Fly By’ in The Slate Sea, anthology ed. Paul Henry (The Camden Trust, Gomer Press 2015)
‘Cartographer Standing’, ‘Seam’ and ‘i’ in The Manchester Review, Issue 10
‘Rose’, ‘The Wash’ and ‘Quench’ in the ‘Beat the Dust’ Hidden Talent Edition 2012
‘Guitar’, after Frederico Garcia Lorca’s poem ‘La Gitarra’ in Lorca in England Translation Competition Anthology, Lorca in England, 2012
‘Wales’ in The Absurd Issue 4, 2009

Non-fiction & Creative Essays

‘Letter to the Reader’ in New Welsh Review, April 2019
‘Y Llyfrgell’ (Welsh) in the final issue of Taliesin magazine, Spring 2016
‘On Writing Pigeon’ in New Welsh Reader (New Welsh Review) Winter 2015 also reprinted in The Western Mail

Contact Alys


Twitter: @alysconran



Lutyens & Rubinstein Literary Agency


Orion Books