Evie Wyld runs Review, a small independent bookshop in Peckham, south London. Her first novel, After the Fire, a Still Small Voice, won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and a Betty Trask Award. In 2011 she was listed as one of the Culture Show’s Best New British Novelists. She was also short listed for the Orange Prize for New Writers and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. She is included in Granta’s list of Best of Young British Novelists 2013. Her second novel All the Birds, Singing comes out in June 2013 from Jonathan Cape and in 2014 from Pantheon in the US.
Read the Reviews
"Evie Wyld is the real thing… this one is terrific. Evie Wyld’s two books are quite as good as Ian McEwan’s early fiction. Expect to hear her name often from now on."
"It’s not hard to see why Wyld is so feted: All The Birds, Singing is extraordinarily accomplished, one of those books that tears around in your cerebellum like a dark firework, and which, upon finishing, you immediately want to pick up again… For all its darknesses [it] gleams with humour and kindness, moments of humanity that redeem almost everyone in the book. As Jake comes to see, no man – or woman – can be an island forever, and the opportunity for redemption is part of what it is to be human: both granting it, and allowing it to be granted in turn."
"Wyld [is] shaping up into a name to watch…her second novel is unsettling, dark and extraordinarily fresh…if you’ve been waiting for a cross between Nicola Barker and Christos Tsiolkas, this is it. Although, better than that, it’s an inimitable, original new voice. Can’t wait to read more."
"Within a few short, sharp pages Wyld has set the tone for a hair-prickling thriller in which visceral, primal appetites appear equally the preserve of the human world as the animal one…Wyld [is an] expert at building an atmosphere of unplaceable menace, at blurring the lines between imagined and real horrors, of harnessing so effectively a feral, rural malignancy and, ultimately, at making a virtue of ambiguity.. But it’s the quality of her prose that really blows your mind – lyrical without being cloying, full of violence and beauty, and when it needs to be, as spare as the unforgiving landscape of Jake’s adopted island."
"Completely and utterly monumental. Powerful and beautiful written…so much about the blood, the guts, the soil…it has a real muscularity to it…it’s very shocking as the story peels back and you look at the different layers of this very tough and admirable protagonist…a heroine trying to make it in a very tough world …I was a fan of Evie Wyld beforehand and this is such a leap forwards and an important book."
"I was hugely impressed. It’s not just a grim book, it’s also very funny…Jake is the most beguiling voice…wonderful."
"Wyld is a superb stylist…a beautiful way of writing about nature and the voices of her characters are absolutely spot on…it’s beautifully constructed…"
"The fearless Wyld deserves serious comparison [with fellow Australian writer Tim Winton]."
"A strange, disturbing and admirably original story… there are tantalising hints of menace."
"There's a precision and power to her sentences that feels like the work of a much older writer. Her new book reminds me of Peter Carey: the language becomes part of the landscape and you don't feel an authorial self pressing down on the novel, but a deep authorial intelligence behind it."
"All the Birds, Singing is a genuine literary thriller and showcases Wyld’s raw talent."
Unsettling, beautiful, horrifying and moving in equal parts, I haven’t read anything quite like All the Birds, Singing for a long time…Wyld’s beautiful, sparse prose, brings a warmth and colour to the tale…there is no disputing the power of the story and the beauty of Wyld’s writing. It is an extraordinary book…[a] bleak and beautiful masterpiece."
There are literary traces beneath the skin of Wyld’s prose – one feels the influence of an early Ian McEwan or Iain Banks. There’s something of Alan Warner’s Morvern Callar about Jake’s recalcitrance, and a Baskervillean note to the creepy wilderness scenes. But All the Birds, Singing is also powerfully original, strongest in its handling of the human and animal worlds, and the thin line between the two.
"Some novels are crafted with such care that it seems a shame reviewers should get to paw them before readers have the chance to admire their intricacy…when the disclosure arrives, it’s neither predictable nor anticlimactic…"
"Wyld's writing...is exquisite. An unusual novel that should win its author even more prizes."
"[an] unsettling narrative both terrifying and beautiful – more than fulfills her writerly promise."
All the Birds, Singing is written in measured, poetic prose, rich with descriptions of nature and almost mythic in its otherworldly moments. The characters that revolve around Jake are fully realised, but it is the gradual reveal of how a naïve young girl became a woman stalked by fear and uncertainty that truly gives the novel its power.
"This is a terrific novel, beautifully written."
"A masterpiece… I was honestly blown away…a book that stands alone, it isn’t like anything else. I want ‘All The Birds, Singing’ to win awards it isn’t even eligible for."
"Heart wrenching and beautiful"
"All the Birds Singing is Australian fiction at its best – gritty, atmospheric and suspenseful, it represents a true gem of the genre… This is a novel which would be perfect to read as part of a bookclub – it affected me so deeply that I was aching to discuss it with someone and hear their view on scenes and relationships which were left open to interpretation"