This Paradise

Shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize 2020 Longlisted for The Orwell Prize for Political Fiction 2020

This Paradise by Ruby Cowling_Web
My story collection This Paradise is available direct from Boiler House Press.

‘Thought-provoking… memorable stories that explore survival in all its guises, and reveal Cowling as an instinctive chronicler of the modern world.’ – Observer

The collection includes Biophile, which won The White Review Short Story Prize 2014, Flamingo Land, which won the London Short Story Prize 2014, and nine other stories.

A family prepares for Assessment; an au pair in the Caribbean wrestles with duty as a hurricane makes landfall; a game designer aches with bodily longing. Amidst it all, twins, heroines, mothers and rebels play out their lives under the strange grips of technology, governments, corporations and the capricious planet on which we all, in our different ways, just about manage to live.

‘Ruby Cowling’s debut collection finds a variety of dextrous and graceful ways to reshape narrative form, and the centre-piece, ‘The Ground is Considerably Distorted’, brings political fiction into the twenty-first century as it unfolds a parliamentary scandal in the real-time of 24-hour news.’ The Orwell Prize for Political Fiction judges

‘No other writer of short fiction has such a firm finger on the unsteady pulse of the suppurating British body politic.’ – Joanna Walsh, author of Words From The World’s End.

‘With these stories, Ruby Cowling shows a brilliantly instinctive understanding that a story can be anything, go anywhere, and say the things you were least expecting it to say. These are stories that will tip the ground out from beneath your feet.’ – Jon McGregor, author of Reservoir 13.

‘Admirably ambitious in scope, the dystopian-tinged stories in This Paradise are often provocative and frightening, but always sanguine.’ – Times Literary Supplement

‘A beautiful and highly original collection.’ – The Spectator

‘The most original short stories I’ve read in a long time … current, entertaining, and relevant. Highly recommended .’ – Litro


I also work as a freelance writer: editing, proofing and providing copy of all kinds including marketing material, research-based reports, and press releases. Most (though not all) of my clients are environmental and non-profit organisations, academic bodies and individual writers. Please see the About page for contact details.