Rob Magnuson Smith's debut novel The Gravedigger was published in 2010 after winning the Pirate’s Alley William Faulkner Award. His novel Scorper (Granta, 2015) was described by the Independent on Sunday as ‘an odd, original, darkly comic novel...Kafka crossed with Flann O'Brien'.
Rob’s short stories have most recently appeared in the Australian Book Review, the Guardian, The Literarian, Fiction International, and The Reader. He has won the Elizabeth Jolley Award and been longlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. His short story 'The Cabildo' was recorded for audio by Jeremy Irons.
A graduate of Pitzer College (BA in philosophy and BA in psychology), the University of East Anglia (MA in Creative Writing) and Bath Spa University (PhD in Creative Writing), Rob is a Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at Exeter University’s Cornwall campus.
Image © Christine Tran
Image © John Vernon Lord
Scorper. Granta Books, Feb 2015.
Scorper, noun, a tool used to scoop out broad areas when engraving wood or metal.
An uncanny and sinister tale of an eccentric American visitor to the small Sussex town of Ditchling, searching for stories about his grandfather. A tale of twitching curtains, severed hands and peculiar sexual practices. A book about Eric Gill's artistic legacy, his despicable behaviour and enduring influence. Scorper is a strange and beautiful English comic masterpiece, with added bird bones.
Independent on Sunday
Australian Book Review
Kevin Brockmeier, author of The Brief History of the Dead
Cover image © John Vernon Lord
Kirsty Logan, author of The Gracekeepers
Tessa Hadley, author
Costa Award winning author of Pure
The Gravedigger. UNO Press, Nov 2010.
The gravedigger Henry Bale lives with his ailing dog in the village of Chalk, England. Painfully shy, he is resigned to growing old alone. Then Caroline Ford, an impulsive schoolteacher from Brighton, arrives in Chalk. Caroline awakens Henry to life, and to a fear of death. Their relationship becomes a startling investigation of love, faith, and the search for meaning.
Ellen Slezak, author of Last Year's Jesus
Stewart O'Nan, author of A Prayer for the Dying
Andre Bernard, publisher and judge of The Pirate’s Alley William Wisdom - William Faulkner Award
Cover image © Bill Lavender
Dr Susan Herdahl, Ridge Reviews and Reflections, Gettysburg Seminary
Invited lectures, panelist and conference presentations since 2010
Image © Patrick Jennings