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Thu, 19 Oct


The Small City Bookshop

Siân Hughes on Pearl (Her Man Booker Longlist Debut Novel)

The poet and novelist joins us to discuss her stunning debut novel, longlisted for the 2023 Man Booker Prize.

Siân Hughes on Pearl (Her Man Booker Longlist Debut Novel)
Siân Hughes on Pearl (Her Man Booker Longlist Debut Novel)

Time & Location

19 Oct 2023, 18:45 – 21:00

The Small City Bookshop, 201 Church Rd, Redfield, Bristol BS5 9HL, UK

About the event

Join us for a conversation with Siân Hughes on her 2023 Man Booker Prize-nominated debut novel. 


This year's Man Booker judges say of Pearl: ‘ ... an exceptional debut novel, [it] is both a mystery story and a meditation on grief, abandonment and consolation, evoking the profundities of the haunting medieval poem. The degree of difficulty in writing a book of this sort – at once quiet and hugely ambitious – is very high. It’s a book that will be passed from hand to hand for a long time to come.’

Each year, the Booker Prize is awarded to what is, in the opinion of the judges, the best sustained work of fiction written in English and published in the UK and Ireland. The longlist is a group of works that speak to our current times and that have the potential to endure and join the pantheon of great literature.

Siân Hughes is a Welsh writer who grew in up a small village in Cheshire where the story of Pearl is set. Returning to live there after her mother’s death, she borrowed from the medieval poem Pearl to write a story set in an old house she cycled past every day as a child. 

Pearl Synopsis

Marianne is eight years old when her mother goes missing. Left behind with her baby brother and grieving father in a ramshackle house on the edge of a small village, she clings to the fragmented memories of her mother’s love; the smell of fresh herbs, the games they played, and the songs and stories of her childhood. As time passes, Marianne struggles to adjust, fixated on her mother’s disappearance and the secrets she’s sure her father is keeping from her. Discovering a medieval poem called Pearl – and trusting in its promise of consolation – Marianne sets out to make a visual illustration of it, a task that she returns to over and over but somehow never manages to complete. 


  • Entry Only

    Ticket includes entry to the event + a free drink

    +£0.13 service fee
    Sale ended
  • Entry + Paperback

    Ticket includes entry to the event, pre-ordered paperback copy of Pearl (to be collected at any time) + a free drink

    +£0.30 service fee
    Sale ended



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