Nominated by:

Dublin City Public Libraries, Ireland

Limerick City & County Libraries, Ireland

Waterford City & County Library Service, Ireland

Christchurch City Libraries, New Zealand

Zentralbibliothek Zürich, Switzerland

Publisher of nominated edition:

Windmill / William Heinemann, UK

Tramp Press, Ireland

Spill Simmer Falter Wither

Sara Baume      

 2017 Longlist

A misfit man finds a misfit dog. Ray, aged fifty-seven, ‘too old for starting over, too young for giving up’, and One Eye, a vicious little bugger, smaller than expected, a good ratter. Both are accustomed to being alone, unloved, outcast – but they quickly find in each other a strange companionship of sorts. As spring turns to summer, their relationship grows and intensifies, until a savage act forces them to abandon the precarious life they’d established, and take to the road.

Spill Simmer Falter Wither is a wholly different kind of love story: a devastating portrait of loneliness, loss and friendship, and of the scars that are more than skin-deep. Written with tremendous empathy and insight, in lyrical language that surprises and delights, this is an extraordinary and heartbreaking debut by a major new talent

(from publisher)

About the Author

Sara Baume was born in Lancashire and grew up in County Cork. She studied fine art and creative writing and her short fiction has been published in journals such as The Stinging Fly magazine and the Dublin Review. She won the 2014 Davy Byrnes Short Story Award and the 2015 Hennessy New Irish Writing Award. She now lives in Cork with her two dogs.

Librarians’ Comments

Spill Simmer Falter Wither follows its first person narrator over the course of a year, starting from the moment when he buys a dog that he names One Eye. While the narrator has been mostly alone and inactive throughout his life, it is through his dog, a mutilated dog from an animal shelter, that he learns to see the world around him in a different light. Beautiful, sad and intense.

This novel is almost lyrical in its content, the use of language is sublime. Sara Baume has written a profound and moving work that captures an idiosyncratic world and lets the reader into it.

Related Entries