English Magic moves through fields and parklands, urban estates and empty beaches, upmarket art galleries, scuffed corner shops. It lands at Heathrow Airport, takes a taxi to the suburbs, finds emptiness and oppression. It strikes out for the countryside on May Day to where there are maypoles and fire blazing haybales, and where blessings sound like threats. It takes a train to the sea. The rain powers down. The beach is damp. Balloons pop. It in a flat, drags itself out of half sleep… and there something tapping behind the gas fire. Scraping and flurrying. What is it? In her debut collection of short stories, the prize winning author Uschi Gatward takes us on a tour of an England simultaneously domestic and wild, familiar and strange, real and imagined. Coupling the past and the present, merging the surreal and the mundane, English Magic is a collection full of humour and warmth, subversion and intoxication a and announcing the arrival of a shining new talent.
Uschi Gatward was born in Mile End, London. She has had stories published by Comma Press, Salt (Best British Short Stories), gorse, Southword, and Wasafiri. In 2016, she was shortlisted for The White Review Short Story Prize. Her debut collection of short stories, English Magic, was finished with the help of an Authors’ Foundation Award from the Society of Authors. It will be published by Galley Beggar Press in Summer 2021.
Read: The Clinic, Galley Beggar Press
Review: English Magic by Uschi Gatward review – exquisitely eerie withholding, The Guardian
Prompt: Use Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions to pick out three emotions which immediately speak to you. Now free-write for 20 mins working all three emotions in your piece.