The Hemingway Prize 2022

I have just arrived back in Nîmes for the French literary award, Le Prix Hemingway 2022, for which I am shortlisted (once again.)

I thought I would put up the composite draft of the original English, the excellent translation by Monique Allier-Chay, and my edit of that translated back into English. It may, as a result, have a clumsiness at the beginning in English, but has all of the power I intended at the finish.

It was published by Les Avocats du Diable in French (Amazon UK here, US here, France here, Spain here, Germany here) my English version is below.

Alexander Fiske-Harrison



AT first the blood had poured between his fingers like dark water seen swirling around rocks. The pain had been almost unbearable, but he had known pain enough in life to know it was nothing more than a mist one moved through. Think about something else. Where were they? They should be here by now.

Finally, he could hear voices and he knew that was good, for although the bleeding had slowed to a trickle, he knew his thoughts were drifting as his will diminished.

¡Espera, torero! Estaremos ahí. Es peligroso, quédate quieto.

He noticed one of his hands had fallen away from the wound, and he looked at the limb. It felt cold, and he knew that was bad. He tried to move it back into place, but it merely rolled on the ground. The sand felt different, colder than the hand, although all sensation was going now. As was vision. He could hear, just.

A voice said something indistinguishable in German. Which was strange, he thought. Continue reading