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208 pages
Paperback, 21 x 14.8 cm
Published March 2024
ISBN 9781923106017


Jonathan Buckley

Joint winner of the 2022 Novel Prize

Special offer: 2022 Novel Prize winners bundle

‘I can talk for as long as you like, no problem. You’ll just have to tell me when to stop. How far back do you want to take it?’

Tell is a probing and compelling examination of the ways in which we make stories of our own lives and of other people’s. Jonathan Buckley’s novel is structured as a series of interview transcripts with a woman who worked as a gardener for a wealthy businessman and art collector who has mysteriously disappeared.

The joint winner of The Novel Prize, Tell is a work of strange and intoxicating immediacy that explores money, art and industry, the intimacy and distance between social classes, and the complex fluidity of memory.

A mesmerizing page-turner…[and] thought-provoking, artfully constructed narrative enriched by the mysteries that expand and proliferate throughout. It’s a deliciously fraught tour de force.
Publishers Weekly

A discerning study of the boundaries of storytelling [and] a riveting thriller that sweeps you in from the off…Buckley’s prose is unpretentious and engrossing, weaving in a constant sense of foreboding that proves irresistible.
Martha Alexander, AnOther Magazine

Over a career spanning more than 25 years, he has written with reliable ingenuity, eschewing traditional narrative structures not out of obtuseness but out of a genuine scepticism of what they can achieve…At long last, Buckley’s profile seems to be on the rise.
George Cochrane, Financial Times

Buckley has once again staged an absorbing debate: a philosophical refusal of narrative linearity that is replete with stories; a constellation of episodes that does not tell the whole tale.
Richard Robinson, The Guardian

A fascinating exploration of what it means to tell stories about our lives.
David Annand, Times Literary Supplement

Always well crafted, this novel is engaging in parts and digressive in others, which adds to its realism…a highly literary novel.
Tom Rachman, The New York Times

The opening line of Homer’s Odyssey – ‘Tell me, O Muse, of the man of many devices…’ – seems particularly resonant for this novel…It is fantastic to see the Novel Prize bringing the work of established writers to greater international prominence.
Emmett Stinson, The Conversation

One of the best new novels I’ve read in a while.
Benjamin Markovits, The Telegraph

Praise for Jonathan Buckley:

Buckley’s fiction is subtle and fastidiously low-key…every apparently loose thread, when tugged, reveals itself to be woven into the themes [and] gets better the more you allow it to settle in your mind.
Michel Faber, The Guardian

Exactly why Buckley is not already revered and renowned as a novelist in the great European tradition remains a mystery that will perhaps only be addressed at that final godly hour when all the overlooked authors working in odd and antique modes will receive their just rewards.
Times Literary Supplement

Few writers manage to conjure such raw unease as Jonathan Buckley…completely compelling.
Adrian Turpin, Financial Times

Why isn’t Jonathan Buckley better known?
John Banville

About the Author

Jonathan Buckley

Jonathan Buckley is a writer and editor from the West Midlands, now living in Brighton. In 2015 he won the BBC National Short Story Award for ‘Briar Road’, and he is a regular contributor to the Times Literary Supplement. Tell, his twelfth novel, was the joint winner of The Novel Prize in 2022, and was published simultaneously in 2024 by Giramondo Publishing (AU), New Directions (US) and Fitzcarraldo Editions (UK).

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An excerpt from Jonathan Buckley’s Tell

‘I can talk for as long as you like, no problem. You’ll just have to tell me when to stop. How far back do you want to take it? Because Lily is what it’s about, in my opinion. And the mother is part of the story too. Father too. Goes without saying. But maybe better to pick them up later. Shall we start with the crash? Seems an obvious place.’

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