Alan Beard

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Alan Beard

Goodreads Author


Born
in Birmingham, The United Kingdom
Website

Twitter

Genre

Influences
Alan Sillitoe, Henry Green, Raymond Carver

Member Since
December 2007

URL


Alan Beard is a short story writer with two collections 'Taking Doreen out of the Sky' (Picador 1999, also on Kindle) and 'You Don't Have to Say' (Tindal Street Press, 2010). He won the Tom-Gallon award and was longlisted for the Edge Hill prize; stories in 'Best Short Stories 1991', and Best British Short Stories 2011 (Salt) and many places including 'Critical Quarterly', 'Malahat Review', 'London Magazine', 'Telling Stories 3' and on BBC Radio 4.

'Short cuts full of heart and beauty...It's rare to find characters like these realistically portrayed in a humane and intelligent way, and it's not easy giving a voice to the inarticulate. Alan Beard succeeds.'
The Independent.

'Beard's stories avoid cartoon terrors and verbal trickery, and instea
...more

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Popular Answered Questions

Alan Beard when you finish that difficult story, when it all slots into place.
Alan Beard HI, I'm working on a collection of 'flash fiction'. These would be stories of under 1000 words. I have had about 30 of these published over the last…moreHI, I'm working on a collection of 'flash fiction'. These would be stories of under 1000 words. I have had about 30 of these published over the last ten years or so, in online mags like Vestal Review and printed ones such as 'Falling Star'. I have several more out and about seeking publication. It would probably be a 100 pages or so, more like a poetry collection.

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Average rating: 3.5 · 131 ratings · 36 reviews · 8 distinct worksSimilar authors
You Don't Have to Say

3.31 avg rating — 26 ratings — published 2011
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Taking Doreen Out Of The Sky

4.14 avg rating — 14 ratings — published 1997 — 3 editions
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The Heebie-Jeebies

3.25 avg rating — 8 ratings — published 2009
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Going the Distance

3.33 avg rating — 6 ratings — published 2003
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Background Noise

3.60 avg rating — 5 ratings — published 2009
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The Best British Short Stor...

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3.40 avg rating — 84 ratings — published 2011 — 7 editions
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The Mechanics' Institute Re...

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4.33 avg rating — 3 ratings2 editions
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More books by Alan Beard…

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Come See About Me (Literature & Fiction)
1 chapters   —   updated Jan 11, 2016 03:37AM
Description: I was asked to post by Sketchbook. A story that originally appeared in the mag 'Panurge' and subsequently selected for Best Short Stories 1991, and then reprinted in my collection 'Taking Doreen out of the Sky'.
Country Life (Literature & Fiction)
1 chapters   —   updated Mar 29, 2010 04:35PM
Description: Short story originally published in London Magazine 32(5), 1992. A bit old then, but hopefully still readable. It also appeared in my first collection 'Taking Doreen out of the Sky' (Picador 1999).
An Elegy for East...
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Raw Creation: Out...
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Alan’s Recent Updates

Alan and 40 other people liked David Katzman's review of The God Delusion:
The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
"I don't commonly read non-fiction, but I've had this on my shelf for years so finally got to it.

You know what it's about. It’s entertaining and informative, and I think an excellent read for anyone who is either on-the-fence, open-mindedly religio..." Read more of this review »
Alan and 7 other people liked Bert's review of Strangers on a Train:
Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith
"Just such a masterclass of pacing, plotting and sustained tension. A brilliant premise, characters with real psychological depth, and some great writing which snakes into some uncomfortably dark places but also has these little unexpected moments..." Read more of this review »
Alan and 1 other person liked Jessica's review of Kudos:
Kudos by Rachel Cusk
"I loved the first two books of this trilogy, Outline and Transit. Kudos was different for me, there seemed to be much less of the narrator, the various others' monologues completely drowning her and the novel. I tired of this technique. While ther..." Read more of this review »
Alan and 33 other people liked Michael Ferro's review of Something Happened:
Something Happened by Joseph Heller
"A criminally underrated classic, SOMETHING HAPPENED is easily one of the most impressive and convincing first-person narratives of an unlikeable narrator I have ever come across. Joseph Heller is one of my favorite authors, with CATCH-22 perhaps b..." Read more of this review »
Alan is currently reading
An Elegy for Easterly by Petina Gappah
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Alan rated a book liked it
Death in Spring by Mercè Rodoreda
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Weird af. Bodies buried in trees and filled with cement to stop their souls escaping, people hung upside down 'like horses', a prisoner that neighs, deformity everywhere; bees everywhere. Beautifully written and probably has its own inner logic and o ...more
Alan rated a book really liked it
Love in a Bottle by Antal Szerb
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review coming
Alan is currently reading
Death in Spring by Mercè Rodoreda
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Love in a Bottle by Antal Szerb
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review coming
Alan rated a book really liked it
Best British Short Stories 2018 by Nicholas Royle
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review coming
More of Alan's books…
Anne Lamott
“For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Henry Green
“The more you leave out, the more you highlight what you leave in.”
Henry Green

Flannery O'Connor
“A story is a way to say something that can’t be said any other way, and it takes every word in the story to say what the meaning is.”
Flannery O'Connor

“Aye subtle hen”
Anne Donovan, Hieroglyphics and Other Stories

Shelby Foote
“A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library.”
Shelby Foote

14198 Graham Greene — 147 members — last activity Nov 22, 2017 02:34AM
A group dedicated to the extraordinary life and work of Graham Greene.
25x33 Short Story lovers — 393 members — last activity Aug 12, 2018 03:33AM
For people who especially love short stories, and don't care who knows it!
220 Goodreads Librarians Group — 85385 members — last activity 6 minutes ago
A place where all Goodreads members can work together to improve the Goodreads book catalog. Non-librarians are welcome to join the group as well, to ...more
40475 The Extra Cool Group! (of people Michael is experimenting on) — 161 members — last activity Aug 27, 2013 12:21PM
*Note: This group, although it lives on in a sense, like a photograph, capturing a moment so people can look back later and go, "Oh, wow, you looked s ...more
78545 Press 53's 53-word story contests — 16 members — last activity Sep 08, 2012 04:54PM
Every week we post a new 53-words story at our Press 53 blog http://press53.tumblr.com/ each week with a new theme. I create the weekly contest and ju ...more
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Comments (showing 15-64)    post a comment »

message 64: by Alan

Alan My friend and fellow writer Joel Lane has died aged 50. Can't believe it. RIP Joel.


message 63: by Alan

Alan Ken wrote: "Thanks for the the tip on Volt and The Heyday of the Insensitive Bastards."

They're both brilliant. I also liked 'Daddy's'.


message 62: by Ken

Ken Thanks for the the tip on Volt and The Heyday of the Insensitive Bastards.


message 61: by Alan

Alan RIP Russell Hoban


message 60: by Alan

Alan Hi Kinga,
that's a start! You should also buy Best British Short Stories 2011 (Salt). I'm not saying this just because I'm in it of course.
Al


message 59: by Kinga

Kinga Hello,

To support you in your ASSP Campaign I went to an independent bookshop yesterday and bought The Penguin Book of Modern British Short Stories.

This way I support independent bookshops and short stories!


message 58: by Ben

Ben Just ordered your new book! Thanks for the link!


message 57: by Alan

Alan Jessica wrote: "thanks for joining the GG group, Alan!"

not sure I'll have time to add much though. I see you're reading Brighton Rock - I still remember reading it back in the late 60s when i was a teenager. I hope they don't cock up the remake of the film.


message 56: by Jessica

Jessica thanks for joining the GG group, Alan!


message 55: by Alan

Alan Nathalie wrote: "I am full of cold, coughing and spluttering - doubt I'll make tonight.

Hope it goes well"


OK Nathalie. Did go fairly well - sold 3 books!


Nathalie I am full of cold, coughing and spluttering - doubt I'll make tonight.

Hope it goes well


message 53: by Alan

Alan notgettingenough wrote: "Hey Alan. If I can come on Monday night can I bring a non-goodreads friend? I haven't checked tickets, haven't checked if it is okay to stay at my friend's place...

And will I get to personally sa..."


Fabulous! Bring who you like - it's free, don't worry about tickets. Don't know how it will work out but I'm sure there will be drinks after somewhere. Trouble is I've got to get the train back to Brum at 9:45 (work the next day), so won't have that much time.

A few GRers are coming it will be nice to see everyone instaed of talking to avatars.

I'm still reeling from the Guardian review yesteday - nice to have all that space, but can't stomach that 'not quite fresh'!


message 52: by Jessica

Jessica caved in and ordered the newest Galgut as well...


message 51: by Jessica (last edited Oct 17, 2010 07:15AM)

Jessica oh, jealous, jealous, jealous, now I have to order that as well too!

yes, I love him. Though his last one disappointed me.


message 50: by Alan

Alan Jessica wrote: "your book arrived today from amazon.co.uk--yay!!!!"

Hope you like it Jessica. It picked up a nice little review in the Times recently. Just finished the new Galgut (I know you like him) - excellent.


message 49: by Jessica

Jessica your book arrived today from amazon.co.uk--yay!!!!


message 48: by Jessica

Jessica have no idea what's with the links...it still takes me to the Trump book....what kind of message am I getting?!


message 47: by Alan

Alan Jessica wrote: "how strange! your link takes me to a review of Donald Trump's book, How to Get Rich... !"

bloody hell, a lot of the links have gone weird on me too. What's happening man?


message 46: by Jessica

Jessica feel free to post your list on my comments page, I'd love to see it!


message 45: by Jessica

Jessica how strange! your link takes me to a review of Donald Trump's book, How to Get Rich... !


message 44: by Alan

Alan Paul Bryant challenged me to do a top fifty stories and I had to include Joel's one about Charles Beaumont called 'The Quiet Hours'
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...
(scroll down to see my top fifty stories..)


message 43: by Jessica

Jessica Oh I love Shirley Jackson! will check out Lane...


message 42: by Alan

Alan oh yes - Lane is my mate, in my writers' group, so I'm biased, but his novella 'The Witnesses are Gone' just won a Shirley Jackson Novella award, so it's not just me.
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/63...
Donovan - I only know one book of his, a collection of stories (naturally), and it was a prize from The Short Review. I was knocked out by one partidular story.
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38...
James Hanley is an uneven writer, bit weird, intense and strange. I liked Sailor's Song and Boy.


message 41: by Jessica

Jessica awww.... thanks.
I refer to the 3 gentleman posted above this comment box:
Donovan, Hanley, and Lane


message 40: by Alan

Alan at the moment only a launch is planned, but the Press do a lot of readings at festivals etc, so I expect stuff to happen. My problem is full time work!
There's posters and stuff done with the proper cover- I'll try and post it.
My favourite authors? If you mean Henry Green and James Hanley you should read them .. there's one you know quite well though - you.


message 39: by Jessica

Jessica p.s. why have I not heard of any of your favorite authors?


message 38: by Jessica

Jessica Very much looking forward to reading it Alan! it's exciting--

Will you be doing any books promo? readings, tours?


message 37: by David

David Katzman Thanks, Alan. i guess it's sort of like the odds of getting cast in a major motion picture.


message 36: by Alan

Alan Alan wrote: "I've posted a photo but it's not the same day - it's from about 6 years later, both of us. I'll have to get back with the pic of Clare from '73..."

yes found it - I haven't told Clare I'm putting her pic up but still. The photo was taken just before mine - see what I mean about the same hairstyle. Same sunglasses too - we were mucking about.


message 35: by Alan

Alan W. wrote: "I never read your bio before Alan. Now I feel neglectful. I'll definitely pick up some books by you in the near future. (Sad to say you won't see any royalties since my cheap lifestyle demands I us..."

There's only one book by me really - '..Doreen..', the other one mentioned I edited. I do have a collection coming out soon though.

I don't get royalties anyway - Picador pulped the book before it reached my advance. It's only available second hand anyway.

I have read one or two of your poems, but I will buy Ants Dissolve in Moonlight cuz I love the title (reference to something probably)..


message 34: by W.B.

W.B. I never read your bio before Alan. Now I feel neglectful. I'll definitely pick up some books by you in the near future. (Sad to say you won't see any royalties since my cheap lifestyle demands I use ABE.com. Soz mate.) But Picador. Swank. Seriously.


message 33: by Alan

Alan I've posted a photo but it's not the same day - it's from about 6 years later, both of us. I'll have to get back with the pic of Clare from '73...


message 32: by Alan

Alan cheers ceridwen & mp - I'll have a go... need to find the file first..


message 31: by Megha

Megha Alan wrote: "Ceridwen wrote: "That would be sweet!"

it's just posting the thing - dunno how to do it. I could stick it on my profile and I could be female for an hour.."


If you click on your profile pic, it will take you to a page showing larger version of the pic and there should be an 'add more photos' link on top right of the page, I think.


message 30: by Alan

Alan Ceridwen wrote: "That would be sweet!"

it's just posting the thing - dunno how to do it. I could stick it on my profile and I could be female for an hour..


message 29: by Alan

Alan Ceridwen wrote: "Awwwwww."

I know - sickening isn't it. I took a photo of her at the same time I'll see if I can post it...


message 28: by Alan

Alan Ceridwen wrote: "I love the new picture. Where was this taken?"

It was taken in 1973 in Weston Super Mare by my (very) new girlfriend - now my wife.


message 27: by Alan

Alan weird ain't it.. what happened to 1.38%? I want them back!


message 26: by Alan (last edited Feb 05, 2010 08:51AM)

Alan I've just compared books with myself and although I'm 100% the same on ratings you (me) and yourself (myself) have 'only' 98.62% books in common.
Now here I am writing to myself. As I said to Jen I'm going senile (55 next month). It's Friday afternoon and work ends in 10 minutes - hence this shite.


message 25: by Alan

Alan Jessica wrote: "November 2010!
great news, Alan!"


yes but maybe I shouldn't have said anything yet, might hex it


message 24: by Jessica

Jessica November 2010!
great news, Alan!


message 23: by Ben

Ben That is indeed great news. Congrats!


message 22: by Alan

Alan Ben wrote: "I'm excited for your reaction to Winesburg. I know it's had a lot of hype, but I do think you'll at least appreciate it. Cheers."

.. I read 'Hands' this morning on the train to work. Yes, I think I'm going to like this. A lot.
Had some great news this morning too - my book has been brought forward and will now be out (or should be) in Novemeber 2010..


message 21: by Ben

Ben I'm excited for your reaction to Winesburg. I know it's had a lot of hype, but I do think you'll at least appreciate it. Cheers.


message 20: by Jen

Jen Merry Bookmas.


message 19: by Alan

Alan Ben wrote: "Congrats on the good review! He really analyzed it well, it seemed. Cheers."

Yes I'm flattered and happy that Abailart took such trouble with it, and liked my stories too..


message 18: by Ben

Ben Congrats on the good review! He really analyzed it well, it seemed. Cheers.


message 17: by Alan

Alan Jessica wrote: "ah, sorry about that.
Yes, I did indeed promise a review...and I fell down on the job.
But...I will do it, soon as I climb out from under the semester's course load.
soon I hope."


don't worry Jessica leave it. I know this time of year is so busy for academics (and us Uni librarians but I don't take my work home). It's such a bastard about Meg. Maybe she'll come back.


message 16: by Jessica

Jessica ah, sorry about that.
Yes, I did indeed promise a review...and I fell down on the job.
But...I will do it, soon as I climb out from under the semester's course load.
soon I hope.


message 15: by David

David Katzman oh boy!


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