Rebecca Watson at Blackwells

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Rebecca Watson author photo
Rebecca Watson. Photo by Alice Zoo

I WILL CRASH - Rebecca Watson in conversation with Jess White at Blackwell’s Manchester, Manchester 23 July 2024 Tickets from £4.00 — Book now

Acclaimed author and one of the ten best debut novelists on The Observer‘s prestigious list in 2021, Rebecca Watson will be chatting about her latest book with culture writer Jess White at Blackwells bookshop in Manchester.

Described as “stunning”, Rebecca Watson’s I Will Crash follows on – almost four years to the date, and again with Faber – from her debut Little Scratch, which took unsuspecting readers unawares as it followed a young woman’s thoughts and feelings over a single, seemingly unassuming day, drawing comparisons with formally innovative works such as Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann and Max Porter‘s Grief is a Thing With Feathers.

“A moving, powerfully honest novel about how we love, how we grieve and how we forgive”, I Will Crash, says award-winning short story writer, author of Wild Houses and one of The Observer‘s best new novelists of 2024, Colin Barrett: “proves once again that there is nothing received, nothing complacent, nothing taken for granted in the writing of Rebecca Watson. Her writing builds itself from first principles, concentrates itself into only what is essential and startling, in a voice that feels both carved and floating.”

Natasha Brown – a 2022 Burgess Fellow at the University of Manchester’s Centre for New Writing, shortlisted for the Folio Prize, the Goldsmiths Prize and the Orwell Prize for Fiction for her debut novel Assembly – calls I Will Crash “an unforgettable ghost story”, and says: “Rebecca Watson’s unique style is completely immersive; I felt as thought I was inside Rosa’s head, spiralling with her into uncertain moves.”

So, a little about the book: It’s been six years since Rosa last saw her brother. Six years since they last spoke. Six years since they last fought. Six years since she gave up on the idea of having a brother. She’s spent that time carefully not thinking about him. Not remembering their childhood. Not mentioning those stories, even to the people she loves. Now the distance she had so carefully put between them has collapsed. Can she find a way to make peace – to forgive, to be forgiven – when the past she’s worked so hard to contain threatens to spill over into the present?

Part-time assistant arts editor at the Financial Times, Rebecca Watson was shortlisted for The White Review Short Story Prize in 2018, and Little Scratch ensued. This was shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize and the Desmond Elliott Prize, and was a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice. The novel was adapted into an acclaimed play with sell-out runs at Hampstead Theatre in 2021 and New Diorama in 2023. Her non-fiction has been published widely, including in The GuardianThe Observerthe TLSGranta and British Vogue, and in 2022, she presented a documentary for Radio 4, where her short stories have also aired.

I WILL CRASH - Rebecca Watson in conversation with Jess White at Blackwell’s Manchester, Manchester 23 July 2024 Tickets from £4.00 Book now

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