David Szalay

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David Szalay (born 1974 in Montreal, Quebec) is an English writer. His surname is pronounced SOL-loy.[1]

Early life[edit]

Szalay was born in Canada. He moved to the United Kingdom the following year and has lived there ever since. He studied at Oxford University.[2]


Szalay has written a number of radio dramas for the BBC.[2] He won the Betty Trask Award for his first novel, London and the South-East, along with the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. Since then he has written two other novels: Innocent (2009) and Spring (2011).

A linked collection of short stories, All That Man Is, was short listed for the Man Booker Prize and won the Gordon Burn Prize in 2016.[3][4] The Spectator said that "nobody captures the super-sadness of modern Europe as well as Szalay."[5] The Observer questioned its structure and whether or not it qualifies as a novel in the traditional sense: "does it in any sense work, as Jonathan Cape wants us to believe, as a novel? Yes, there’s a thematic consistency that makes this more than a collection, and Szalay even throws in the odd narrative link (the 73-year-old, it transpires, is the 17-year-old’s granddad). But still, a novel? I don’t think so."[6]

Szalay was included in The Telegraph's 2016 list of the top 20 British writers under 40,[7] as well as Granta magazine's 2013 list of the best young British novelists.[8]



  • London and the South-East
  • Innocent (2009)
  • Spring (2011)

Short fiction[edit]


Critical studies and reviews of Szalay's work[edit]

  • Wood, James (October 10, 2016). "Male gaze : David Szalay's 'All that man is'". The Critics. Books. The New Yorker. 92 (32).[9]


  1. ^ Stein, Lorin (Summer 2016). "Writing All That Man Is: An Exchange". The Paris Review. Retrieved 2017-02-07.
  2. ^ a b "David Szalay". Unitedagents.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-10-29.
  3. ^ Alison Flood and Mark Brown. "Man Booker shortlist 2016: tiny Scottish imprint sees off publishing giants | Books". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-10-29.
  4. ^ Flood, Alison (7 October 2016). "David Szalay's 'unsparing' All That Man Is wins Gordon Burn prize". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
  5. ^ Cook, Jude (16 April 2016). "All That Man Is: a novel view of masculinity". Spectator. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  6. ^ Skidelsky, William (3 April 2016). "All That Man Is by David Szalay review – tales of love and money". Observer. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  7. ^ Books. "Are these Britain's best 20 novelists under 40". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-10-29.
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ Online version is titled "Nine tales of crises in 'All that man is'".