Front Cover
Penguin, 2016 - Fiction - 195 pages
4 Reviews
Named a Best Book of the Year by Publisher's Weekly
Shortlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize

"A sharp, funny, and eccentric debut ... Pond makes the case for Bennett as an innovative writer of real talent. ... [It]reminds us that small things have great depths."
-New York Times Book Review

"Dazzling...exquisitely written and daring ." -O, the Oprah Magazine

Immediately upon its publication in Ireland, Claire-Louise Bennett's debut began to attract attention well beyond the expectations of the tiny Irish press that published it. A deceptively slender volume, it captures with utterly mesmerizing virtuosity the interior reality of its unnamed protagonist, a young woman living a singular and mostly solitary existence on the outskirts of a small coastal village. Sidestepping the usual conventions of narrative, it focuses on the details of her daily experience--from the best way to eat porridge or bananas to an encounter with cows--rendered sometimes in story-length, story-like stretches of narrative, sometimes in fragments no longer than a page, but always suffused with the hypersaturated, almost synesthetic intensity of the physical world that we remember from childhood. The effect is of character refracted and ventriloquized by environment, catching as it bounces her longings, frustrations, and disappointments--the ending of an affair, or the ambivalent beginning with a new lover. As the narrator's persona emerges in all its eccentricity, sometimes painfully and often hilariously, we cannot help but see mirrored there our own fraught desires and limitations, and our own fugitive desire, despite everything, to be known.

Shimmering and unusual, Pond demands to be devoured in a single sitting that will linger long after the last page.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - brangwinn - LibraryThing

An interesting take on a journal this slim book has interconnecting stories as told by a woman living in a small town in Ireland. I’m one of the reviewers who found the stories flat. The concept was interesting but the stories failed to hold my attention. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - musichick52 - LibraryThing

I cannot warm to stream of consciousness writing. This woman's solitary murmurings are intimate and sometimes funny, but not my cup of tea. It almost reminds me of eavesdropping on someone who is not all there. I thank the author and the Penguin First to Read program for a complimentary copy. Read full review


Voyage in the Dark
Wishful Thinking
To a God Unknown
Finishing Touch
The Deepest Sea
Oh Tomato Purceſ
The Gloves Are Off
Over Done With
Words Escape Me
Lady of the House
Old Ground

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About the author (2016)

Claire-Louise Bennett's short fiction and essays have been published in The Moth, The Irish Times, and other publications. She was awarded the inaugural White Review Short Story Prize in 2013. Pond is her first book. Bennett lives in Galway, Ireland.

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