Pearl with Siân Hughes

Date:  Sunday 9th June 2024

Venue:  Montgomery Town Hall

Time:  11.00-11.45 am

Tickets:  £9.00

Siân Hughes grew up in a small village in Cheshire, and every day she used to cycle past an old house that was to become the setting for her extraordinary debut novel, Pearl.

Pearl tells the story of Marianne, eight years old when her mother goes missing and left behind with her baby brother and grieving father in that ramshackle house on the edge of a small village. She clings to the fragmented memories of her mother’s love and trusts in a medieval poem called Pearl to console her, but remains haunted by an unmarked gravestone in an abandoned chapel and the tidal pull of the river.

Meet Siân as we explore how the medieval poem, Pearl, and her childhood village became the inspiration for such a wonderful evocation of late 20th-century rural life and the isolation and trauma of loss and grief. We’ll also be talking about her work as a poet and what it feels like for your debut novel to be longlisted for the Booker Prize.

Siân Hughes is a Welsh writer and poet who grew up in a small village in Cheshire where her debut novel, Pearl, is set. Her first collection of poetry The Missing (Salt, 2009) was a Poetry Society Recommendation, longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, shortlisted for the Felix Dennis and the Aldeburgh prizes, and won the Seamus Heaney Award. The collection included the elegy The Send-Off which won the 2006 Arvon International Poetry Competition. Pearl was longlisted for The Booker Prize 2023. Siân lives in Cheshire with her son, where she owns and runs the independent bookshop Magpie Books.