Attrib and Other Stories

Eley Williams


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Influx Press
23 March 2017
ISBN: 9781910312162
176 pages

From the publisher

Longlisted for the 2018 Dylan Thomas prize
Longlisted for the 2018 Edge Hill prize

New Statesman Books of the Year 2017 | The Telegraph Books of the Year 2017 | The Guardian Best Books of the Year 2017 | The White Review Books of the Year 2017 | Australian Book Review Books of the Year 2017

This debut collection from Eley Williams centres upon the difficulties of communication and the way in which one’s thoughts — absurd, encompassing, oblique — may never be fully communicable and yet can overwhelm. 

Attrib. and other stories celebrates the tricksiness of language just as it confronts its limits. Correspondingly, the stories are littered with the physical ephemera of language: dictionaries, dog-eared pages, bookmarks and old coffee stains on older books. This is writing that centres on the weird, tender intricacies of the everyday where characters vie to 'own' their words, tell tall tales and attempt to define their worlds. 

With affectionate, irreverent and playful prose, the inability to communicate exactly what we mean dominates this bold debut collection from one of Britain’s most original new writers.

Praise for Attrib. and other stories

She is a writer for whom one struggles to find comparison, because she has arrived in a class of her own: witty, melancholy, occasionally sensual, occasionally mordant, elegantly droll without the kind of hipster quirkiness that makes me want to hurl books at the wall. She has in common with George Saunders the ability to be both playful and profound, and we are lucky to have her.
– Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent

I came late to Eley Williams and am happy to have found her. Hearing her read her short story ‘Smote’ aloud recently blew me away.
– Daisy Johnson, author of Everything Under

It’s exhilarating to dive into the associative rush of Williams’s writing.
– Vanity Fair

Eley Williams’s Attrib. And Other Stories cornered the market in cerebral playfulness.
The Guardian, Best Books of the Year 2017

In the aftermath of Attrib. and Other Stories by Eley Williams, I had to resist the urge to weigh every book in my house in order to find the heaviest.
– Sara Baume, New Statesman Books of the Year 2017

The letters in her words seemed to be drawn from adjacent parts of the alphabet. They had thought about themselves and one another. There was something collusive about them. They backed up one another’s story. They had demanded to be consulted, and come to their own unconventional arrangements. It all makes for alphabetophile writing. In the reader, it produces a kind of constructive estrangement from words. Think William Gass, Lydia Davis or Anne Carson, and you won’t be too wrong.
– Michael Hoffmann, London Review of Books

'It’s exciting to come across a writer playing with language so experimentally. There’s no one working in the UK quite like her.' 
— Joanna Walsh