Spike Island

Novel WritersGillian Best The Last Wave


Thursday 20 April 2017, 6.30–8pm


£5, £3 concessions Booking advised

Event type

Novel Writers

Book launch and in conversation with Bristol literary agent Kate Johnson

Gillian Best, a native of Toronto who now lives and works in Bristol, presents a wholly authentic tragicomic portrait of family life as it is buffeted by illness, intolerance, anger, failure and regret. This family drama set in England between the 1950s and the present, follows the life of Martha, a woman who has swum the English Channel ten times, and the complex relationships she has with her husband, her children and her close friends.

Booking advised

Novel Writers

Each month we invite a debut novelist to read from and talk about their work in an informal setting. Prior knowledge of the text is not essential. Topics of discussion include theme, structure, inspiration and the craft of writing. These sessions are a great way to discover new writing talent and great books. In partnership with Bristol Festival of Ideas

Gillian Best

Gillian Best is a writer, swimmer, and seaside enthusiast. Her debut novel, The Last Wave, is out from Freight Books in Spring 2017. She has won the Bronwen Wallace Award for Short Fiction (Canada, 2003), took second place in Unbound Press’ Best Novel competition (2011), was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize International Creative Writing Competition (short story, 2013), long-listed for the WriteIdea Short Story Prize (2014), and shortlisted for Wasafiri’s New Writing Prize (2015).

Extracts from The Last Wave have been published on Number Eleven and Wasafiri. Other short fiction has been published in print in the UK and Canada.

Originally from Waterloo, Canada, Gillian has been living in the UK for the best part of twelve years. Arriving in Falmouth to study for her Masters in Professional Writing, she later went on to receive her PhD in Creative Writing and English Literature from the University of Glasgow. She currently lives, works, and swims in Bristol, UK.

Supported by
  • Bristol Festival of Ideas