Rob Magnuson Smith
Rob Magnuson Smith is a novelist, short story writer and investigative journalist. A dual citizen of the US and the UK, his debut novel The Gravedigger was published in 2010 after winning the Pirate’s Alley William Faulkner Award. His novel Scorper (Granta Books) was described by the Independent on Sunday as ‘an odd, original, darkly comic novel...Kafka crossed with Flann O'Brien'.
Rob’s short fiction has most recently appeared in the Australian Book Review, the Guardian, The Literarian, Fiction International, and The Reader.
His short story ‘The Elector of Nossnearly’ won the 2015 Elizabeth Jolley Award.
Rob is also a contributing editor at Playboy and has published investigative articles on Soviet-era primate hybridization experiments, the scientific search for alien life, and the Internet Archive.
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 currently teaches English and Creative Writing at Exeter University’s Penryn campus in Cornwall.
Image © Christine Tran
'Award-winner who’s just a bit annoying' - The Tribune
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
Cover image © John Vernon Lord
Kirsty Logan, author of The Gracekeepers
Tessa Hadley, author
Kevin Brockmeier, author of The Brief History of the Dead
Costa Award winning author of Pure
Cover image © Bill Lavender
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
Dr Susan Herdahl, Ridge Reviews and Reflections, Gettysburg Seminary
Invited lectures, panelist and conference presentations since 2010
Image © Patrick Jennings