Pain Sluts by Sian Hughes
“Sian Hughes’ delightful imagination and technical talent makes each story a unique treat.”
– Boyd Clack –
Creator of High Hopes and Satellite City
“Sian Hughes writes her characters with love and warmth, dissecting their complex inner lives with beautiful and profound prose. The stories are raw, honest, sometimes disturbing, capturing the enormity of tiny moments and the extraordinariness of ordinary people. Written with a dark humour and an exquisite attention to detail, the stories linger, unfolding in the mind, long after the book has been closed. Hughes is clearly a writer to watch.”
– Catrin Kean –
Author of Salt
Winner of Wales Book of the Year 2021
“Sian Hughes is an immaculate stylist, and Pain Sluts is one exquisite and harrowing revelation after another. In this magnificent collection, Hughes claims a darkly radiant fictional territory that is all her own.”
– Anthony Trevelyan –
Author of The Weightless World
Longlisted for the 2016 Desmond Elliott Prize
“In this wonderfully visceral collection, with its echoes of AM Homes and the early transgressive short stories of Ian McEwan, Sian Hughes has fashioned her own brand of distinctly South Walian Gothic, full of bodies and their bloody mysteries, people and their hidden perverse selves.”
– John Williams –
Author of The Cardiff Trilogy
“Haunting and hilarious, tender and tumultuous. A bold and original collection that depicts life for women in contemporary south Wales in all its mundanity and quirkiness. Thrills from beginning to end.”
– Rachel Trezise –
Author of Fresh Apples and Easy Meat
Winner of the inaugural 2006 Dylan Thomas Prize
“Sian Hughes shares Thomas Morris’ skill of evoking the everyday, the ordinary, and the potentially banal in warm, three-dimensional technicolour. Her characters stand up, speak, and walk off the page to inhabit your mind. The stories in Pain Sluts are not easily forgotten.”
– Sonia Hope –
Jerwood/Arvon Mentee and Guardian 4th Estate BAME Short Story Prize Finalist
“At a time when, understandably, we’re looking for things to distract us from reality, these stories remind us that there can be beauty, hope, laughter, even inspiration in the everyday. The characters presented in Pain Sluts are full of defiance and a fierce determination not to be overwhelmed by the slings and arrows. A great collection from an author who’s clearly set for big things.”
– Stephen Thompson –
Author of Toy Soldiers and No More Heroes
“With its combination of lyrical prose and brutally honest portraits of humanity, Sian Hughes’ Pain Sluts recalls Annie Proulx at her best. Punctured with dark wit and fleeting moments of tenderness, this is a collection that delivers knockout blows on every page. Wise, raw, and masterfully sculpted.”
– Tomas Marcantonio –
Author of This Ragged, Wastrel Thing and Flamingo Mist
A teenager performs stripteases in her bedroom window as funeral processions pass by. A grieving mother reunites with her miscarried foetus. A widow takes on the sinister, rapacious treehouse in next door’s garden. Combining pitch-perfect, darkly comic observations with tender touches of humanity, Pain Sluts chronicles the flaws, frailties, and enduring spirit of an eclectic cast of curious characters as they navigate threats to their identity and humanity.
A brave and bold literary debut bursting with calamity and compassion, Pain Sluts is an astonishing collection of stories which lays bare our beauty and bizarreness. Laden with love, loss and longing, this book illuminates Sian’s extraordinary ability to create believable characters that brave our brittle world, often in outlandish or unusual ways. Sharp and tender, true and wise, these stories announce the arrival of a uniquely talented new voice in British fiction.
“Rich, dark, bitter and exquisite, this collection definitely packs a hoofing chilli kick.”
– Nation Cymru –
Recent reviews of Pain Sluts:
Sian Hughes is a freelance copywriter, screenwriter, and author whose short stories have been published online and in print and adapted for film and TV, appearing on HTV, BBC Wales, and S4C. An adaptation of her short story ‘Consumed’, starring ‘The Descent’s’ Shauna Macdonald, was premiered in 2021 at the Glasgow Short Film Festival. Having recently completed an MA in Creative Writing, for which she gained a Distinction, Sian also works as a creative practitioner for the Arts Council of Wales. Sian lives in Cardiff with her husband, three children, and a menagerie of wayward animals.
Author photo by Claire Cousins
PUBLISHER: STORGY BOOKS
PUBLICATION DATE: 22/10/2021
Read Sian’s previously published words below:
God and the Runt
Hughes. S (issue 78 – Summer 2018) God and the Runt, Scribble magazine
Death and the Teenage Stripper
Can You Eat the Wind
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