June 22 , 2007

Under the Dam


**WINNER of the BBC National Short Story Prize 2010**

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David Constantine's Under the Dam was chosen as one of their Books of 2005 by both The Independent and The Guardian.

In the middle of a speech a businessman realises his soul has just left his body. In an Athens marketplace, a jealous lover finds himself staggering through a vision of hell. High in the Alps, a young woman’s body re-appears in the glacier, perfectly preserved, where she fell 50 years before.

Entering Constantine’s stories is like stepping out into a wind of words, a swarm of language. His prose is as fluid as the water that surges and swells through all his landscapes. Yet, against this fluidity, his stories are able to stop time, to freeze-frame each protagonist’s life just at the moment when the past breaks the surface, or when the present - like the dam of the title - collapses under its own weight.

"FLAWLESS AND UNSETTLING" - Boyd Tonkin, Books of the Year 2005, The Independent.

“I started reading these stories quietly, and then became obsessed, read them all fast, and started re-reading them again and again. They are gripping tales, but what is startling is the quality of the writing. Every sentence is both unpredictable and exactly what it should be. Reading them is a series of short shocks of (agreeably envious) pleasure...” – AS Byatt, Book of the Week, The Guardian

“A superb collection” – Nicholas Royle, The Independent

“This is a haunting collection filled with delicate clarity. Constantine has a sure grasp of the fear and fragility within his characters.” – A. L. Kennedy

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