All the Places I’ve ever Lived is part ghost story, part murder ballad, part crime thriller and explores the themes of outsiders and difference, with a dark edge. People say it has a Twin Peaks feel.
It is set in West Cumbria, a semi-industrial, remote and unloved part of northern England on the edge of the Lake District and on the edge of just about everything else. the town is mainly populated by irish immigrants coming over to work in the iron ore mines and later Sellafield.
The action begins in 1976, when fifteen-year-old Barry wakes up one day to find that his body is covered in strange, metallic lumps. Living next to a thermometer factory and nine miles from Sellafield nuclear plant could be an explanation for this, but, actually, something more uncanny is going on. The evening before, a girl from Barry’s school, Philomena May, was brutally attacked and left in a ditch to die. Philomena’s ghost visits Barry and uses the metallic lumps to guide them both into the future, where Barry and the ghost girl’s purpose is to prevent a multiple shooting.
The book flicks between 1976 and 2010, and explores the effect of horrendous crimes on small communities and the way the gradual accretion of small grudges can drive a person to mass murder. It’s a thrilling mash up of Edward Scissorhands, In Cold Blood, and Back To The Future.
All the Places I’ve ever Lived will be published by Urbane in February 2017.
David Gaffney comes from Cleator Moor in West Cumbria and now lives in Manchester. He is the author of Sawn-off Tales (2006), Aromabingo (2007), Never Never (2008), The Half-life of Songs (2010) and his latest collection of short stories, More Sawn-Off Tales ( 2013). He has also written Buildings Crying Out, a story using lost cat posters (Lancaster LitFest 2009); 23 Stops To Hull, a set of stories about every junction on the M62 (Humber Mouth Literature Festival 2009); Sawn-off Opera, a set of operas with composer Ailís Ní Ríain (BBC Radio 3, RNCM, Liverpool Philharmonic and Tête a Tête festival London 2010); Destroy PowerPoint, stories in PowerPoint format for Edinburgh Festival 2009; The Poole Confessions, stories told in a mobile confessional box (Poole Literature Festival 2010); Station Stories, in which six writers linked to the audience with wireless headphones performed short stories in Manchester Piccadilly railway station (Manchester Literature Festival 2011); Boy You Turn Me, a sound installation (Birmingham Book Festival 2011); guerrilla writing project Errata Slips (Cornerhouse Manchester 2011), Preston 3twenty (2012-2032), a twenty-year arts and literature project, Men Who Like Women Who Smell of Their Jobs, (Manchester Literature Festival 2014) a visual art exhibition with painter Alison Erika Forde, and The Three Rooms In Valerie’s Head, a graphic novel with illustrator Dan Berry (2015-2016) David has written articles for the Guardian, Sunday Times, Financial Times and Prospect magazine , was a judge for the 2015 Bridport prize and is currently a visiting fellow with the University of Manchester.
David’s novel, “All the Places I’ve Ever Lived” will publish spring 2017. More details soon! David’s website can be found here
‘Loaded with potent charges, insidious and cumulative in their effects, the stories are sometimes haunting, sometimes comic.’ The Times Literary Supplement
‘Sad, funny fables recalling evanescent moments of connection and happiness. One hundred and fifty words by Gaffney are more worthwhile than novels by a good many others.’ The Guardian
‘A ruthless eye and pitch-black humour.’ The Observer
‘It would be hard to imagine a book that scored a more penetrating bull’s-eye on the target of the moment.’ The Independent
‘Witty, clever and poignant, Gaffney’s micro fictions work as funny routines, moving insights and illuminating character sketches, often all at the same time.’ Time Out
‘Utterly brilliant. Hilariously demented and wonderfully succinct. David Gaffney’s Sawn-Off Tales are little McNuggets of pure gold. This is writing at its best.’ Graham Rawle
“David Gaffney is, I think, one of very few contemporary British Writers who have mastered the very short form” Nicholas Royle
“Great read, these twisted wee tales,” Johnny Vegas
‘elliptical, sharp, witty and dazzling, written with a poet’s eye for detail and a novelist’s appreciation of human faults and foibles.’ Jenn Ashworth
‘Gaffney’s latest is a masterful taster menu, every mouthful wickedly inventive and deliciously absurd. Brilliant.’ Adam Marek
‘Sharp, poignant, surreal, lyrical and very, very funny, the collection reveals intense knowledge and control of the form, along with a desire to push the boundaries in every direction’ Emma Jane Unsworth
“Gaffney’s arresting series of short stories Sawn-off Tales seems to operate much as Surrealist paintings do: able to strike with depth through peculiar arrangements of thoughts and ideas. Madly imaginative ” The Skinny
Author photo courtesy of Kezia Tan.Read More
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