The Albatross

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The Albatross
First edition (collection)
Author Susan Hill
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Social realism[1]
Publisher Hamish Hamilton (collection)
Penguin Books (standalone)
Publication date
Feb 1971 / Nov 2000
Media type Print & audio
Pages 192 / 96
Awards John Llewellyn Rhys Prize
ISBN 0-241-01976-1 (collection)
ISBN 0-14-029330-2 (standalone)

The Albatross is a novella written by Susan Hill, first appearing in the collection The Albatross and Other Stories published by Hamish Hamilton in 1971. It won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in 1972.[2] It appeared as a standalone book published by Penguin Books in 2000.[3] It is studied in GCSE English as an example of the best of modern women's writing.[4]

Plot introduction[edit]

The Albatross centres around Duncan, an intellectually disabled 18-year-old who has grown up with his domineering wheelchair-using mother[1] in Heype, a Suffolk seaside town based on Aldeburgh.[5] Duncan finds it difficult to cope with anything outside his daily routine, but is forced to interact with the wider world when his claustrophobic relationship with his mother reaches breaking point.


The story was partly inspired by local composer Benjamin Britten's opera Peter Grimes.[5]

Publication history[edit]



  1. ^ a b The Albatross Summary - Susan Hill - Masterplots II: Short Story Series, Revised Edition on ENotes Retrieved 2011-07-17.
  2. ^ Freeman, Hadley (2003-10-18). "Cotswold chameleon". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  3. ^ Retrieved 2011-07-07.
  4. ^ The Albatross - Study Texts S. (Book) by Susan Hill, et al. (1990): Retrieved 2011-07-17.
  5. ^ a b Author's afterword in the 2000 Penguin edition of the book
  6. ^ The Albatross / Susan Hill. (sound recording) / - Version details - Trove Retrieved 2013-01-02.
  7. ^ Retrieved 2012-11-18.

External links[edit]

See also[edit]