Malcolm Pryce

Malcolm Pryce pictured reading his novel The Unbearable Lightness Of Being In Aberystwyth

Last updated: 28 April 2010

With his quirky series of surreal crime fiction, Malcolm Pryce has taken the noir detective novel and placed it, and his private eye Louie Knight, in Aberystwyth.

Born in Shrewsbury in 1960, Malcolm Pryce grew up and was educated in Aberystwyth. He read German at Warwick and Freiburg universities, graduating in 1984.

Pryce has enjoyed a varying career interspersed with many different occupations in numerous locations. He has, at one time or another, been employed as a dishwasher in a hotel, a deckhand, has worked in sales at an aluminium factory (wholly unsuccessfully, he admits), and has been an assembly line worker for a car manufacturer.

The early 1990s saw Pryce embark on a career in advertising in London, and later in Singapore after he left Britain to travel in the Far East. He left Singapore in 1998 and, bound for South America, began writing his first novel Aberystwyth Mon Amour.

The novel, and series that was to follow, combine fantasy and black humour in a Welsh world of noir, a vague pastiche of Raymond Chandler and his private eye Philip Marlowe but altogether more weirdly wonderful.

His debut novel was published in 2001 to great acclaim. It was subsequently followed by the next in the series Last Tango In Aberystwyth and The Unbearable Lightness Of Being In Aberystwyth, which he wrote while living in Bangkok.

The fourth novel in the detective series, Don't Cry For Me Aberystwyth, was published in April 2007, shortly after which he returned to the UK.

The fifth book in his Welsh noir series, From Aberystwyth With Love, was released in May 2009.

In April 2010 radio dramatisations of Pryce's first two novels were broadcast on BBC Radio Wales.

Also in April, Pryce was shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction for his novel From Aberystwyth With Love. Fellow shortlisted authors are Tiffany Murray, Ian McEwan, Paul Murray and David Nicholls. The winner will be announced at the 2010 Hay Festival.

Selected bibliography

  • Aberystwyth Mon Amour (2001)
  • Last Tango In Aberystwyth (2003)
  • The Unbearable Lightness Of Being In Aberystwyth (2005)
  • Don't Cry For Me Aberystwyth (2007)
  • From Aberystwyth With Love (2009)

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