Interview: Evie Wyld

The Brief


Evie Wyld is the author of two award-winning novels: After the Fire, a Still Small Voice; and All the Birds, Singing. In 2013, she was included on Granta Magazine’s Best of Young British Novelists list, having previously been placed on similar lists by The Daily Telegraph and the BBC’s Culture Show. Wyld is a former Writer in Residence for literacy charity BookTrust. She also runs Review, an independent bookshop in Peckham, South London.

Which book would you recommend to our readers?
Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by James Agee and Walker Evans. At points it is almost unreadable, but it has so much darkness and playfulness in it. It started life as a magazine article, and became a 400-page book documenting the lives of sharecroppers in Alabama in 1936.

Which albums would you recommend to our readers?
and Solo by Nils Frahm. It’s the piano music I listen to while writing – very beautiful, occasionally a bit frightening.

Which graphic novel would you recommend to our readers?
by Richard McGuire. A graphic novel set in on corner of a room with no limits on time.

Which television episode would you recommend to our readers?
The Him & Her wedding episode, ‘The Ceremony’, is as tense as Thomas Vinterberg’s Festen – but you’re allowed to laugh.


The following questions relate to our Perspectives column, in which two writers respond to an artwork that they are experiencing for the first time.

Can art help us to understand death?
In as much as it helps us to understand humans.

Do film adaptations of books or video games devalue the original?
No, they are different things, in as much as two different people telling the same story will end up with two totally different narratives.

Should art aim to bring people together?
I don’t think art should have an aim other than the personal interests of the artist. It’s not a community service.

Should art have a place in war?
As long as people do, yes.

States of the Arts

The following questions relate to our States of the Arts column, for which each article includes four artworks that share an association with a single nation or territory.

Which Hungarian artwork would you recommend to our readers?
Ágota Kristóf’s The Notebook Trilogy. The kind of darkness that is impossible to turn away from.

Which New Zealand artworks would you recommend to our readers?
What We Do in the Shadows
and Hunt for the Wilderpeople, both directed by Taika Waititi. Like Wes Anderson but with more heart and less whimsy.

The art of discovery

The following questions relate to Silent Frame’s aim to celebrate the art of discovery.

What does discovery mean to you?
Finding a pathway towards something creative. It’s quite selfish and inward-looking, but it’s the point of everything creative.

What question would you like to ask other Silent Frame interviewees?
People usually expect ‘creative types’ to speak eloquently in public or in interviews. Do you ever feel like you're talking utter shite?

More to discover

Evie Wyld: You can visit Evie Wyld's website here, follow her on Twitter @eviewyld, and browse her non-fiction contributions to Granta Magazine hereYou can also read an excerpt from All the Birds, Singing, and an excerpt from After the Fire, a Still Small Voice.

The following short stories are available online in full: 'A Green Apple', 'The Convalescent's Handbook', 'Free Swim''Six Degrees of Interpretation', 'Something Close to Heaven', and 'The Whales'.

Prudence Gibson has interviewed Evie Wyld for The Conversation, as have Dom Amerena for The Guardian, Danuta Kean for The Independent, Ryan Rushton for The Skinny, James Naughtie for BBC Radio 4's Bookclub, and BookTrust.

Today's recommendations: Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (excerpt), Solo (full album), Here (excerpt), Him & Her (information), The Notebook Trilogy (excerpt), What We Do in the Shadows (trailer), Hunt for the Wilderpeople (trailer).

Also on Silent Frame