John Metcalf

Medals and Prizes

‘John Metcalf has written some of the very best stories ever published in Canada. He comes as close to the baffling, painful comedy of human experience as a writer can get.’ Alice Munro

Medals and Prizes brings together eight of the best stories and novellas by John Metcalf, a virtuosic champion of the short form. Metcalf was born in Carlisle and emigrated to Canada as a young man, where both his innovations as a prose stylist and his talent as an editor are legendary. Until now, he has never been published in Britain. Spanning more than fifty years, and ranging from some of his earliest published stories to the astonishing late-career ‘Medals and Prizes’, the work gathered here shows us a writer whose voice, at every stage, is unmistakeable.

Entertaining and moving and mischievous, these elegant fictions are a homecoming for a writer ready to assume his rank among Britain’s great short fiction masters.

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EBook: £6.99
Print status: Available
Author: John Metcalf
Original language: English
Format: B-format paperback
Publication date: 24 November 2020
ISBN: 9781911508960
Ebook ISBN: 9781911508977
Availability: UK & C (excl Canada) and Europe
Number of pages: 350


Washington Post

‘Generous, hectoring, huge, and remarkable.’

Los Angeles Times

‘Hilarious, touching and delightful . . .  brilliant concision and understated humor.’

Harper's Magazine

‘One of Canada's best kept literary secrets.’

The Oxford Companion to Twentieth Century Literature in English

‘Metcalf has an abiding reputation as one of the finest prose stylists in contemporary Canada . . . The collections of his short stories are often regarded as his best work.’

Kirkus Reviews, starred review

‘In the novella ‘Medals and Prizes’ Robert Forde first appears in 1950s England at age 14 as he shares with his best friend a love of words, art, and jazz records [...] In the short story ‘Ceazer Salad’, Forde walks about Ottawa and rails at misused apostrophes and other abominations after his latest book is panned. Metcalf, a highly regarded Canadian writer born in 1938 whose life resembles Forde’s, also brings to mind variously Wodehouse, Waugh, Kingsley Amis, and Kyril Bonfiglioli. This is a book that could restore anyone’s faith in the pleasure of reading.’