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Nicholas Royle’s fifth short story collection, Manchester Uncanny investigates the strange ways of the ‘original modern city’. Haunted by the ghosts of Ian Curtis and James Anderton as much as by its own pre-bomb sooty demeanour, Manchester today is a city of shiny surfaces that may or may not offer a true reflection of who we are – or who, in a world increasingly in thrall to identity politics, we think we are.


‘Royle is a master of the uncanny’
Manchester Review of Books


Sixteen stories from the last two decades, including three brand-new pieces, demonstrate Royle’s range of voice and approach, from accessible experimentation – a story designed to be read in any one of 362,880 ways, another made exclusively out of the lyrics to Unknown Pleasures – to more conventional but equally dark narratives of snooker halls, secret pools, university life and ‘people texture’.

Manchester Uncanny is the second in a series of city-based short story collections by Nicholas Royle. London Gothic was the first. The third and final volume will be devoted to Paris.


Nicholas Royle was born in Manchester in 1963. He is the author of seven novels, including The Director’s Cut and First Novel, and four previous collections, Mortality, Ornithology, The Dummy & Other Uncanny Stories and London Gothic. He has edited more than twenty-five anthologies of short stories, including eleven volumes of Best British Short Stories. His most recent publications include his translation, from the French, of Vincent de Swarte’s novel Pharricide, and a non-fiction book, White Spines: Confessions of a Book Collector. He runs Nightjar Press, publishing short stories as signed, limited edition chapbooks. He is married and lives in Manchester and London.

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