Linen Press is thrilled to announce the publication of Sometimes A River Song by Avril Joy, on 27th April 2016. This short, haunting novel will take its place amongst the very best on our list.


Sometimes A River Song

Set among a riverboat community in Arkansas in the 1930s, this poignant story chronicles Aiyana Weir’s spirited determination to break away from a life, like those of the women around her, defined and dominated by a brutal patriarchy. Aiyana’s voice, unique, hesitant and uneducated, expresses the turmoil of her inner world through the detail and rhythm of her beloved river and charts her secret pursuit of literacy, her only means of escape from the abuse of her father and the cruel neglect of the man to whom she is given. Her grandmother, a mythical figure steeped in wisdom and folk lore, and her brother Lyle are her only allies in her struggle for survival as she makes plans to leave the river.


About Avril Joy

Avril Joy was born in Somerset, the setting for her first novel, The Sweet Track (Flambard Press, 2007). Her short fiction has appeared in literary magazines and anthologies including Victoria Hislop’s The Story: Love, Loss & the Lives of Women: 100 Great Short Stories, and has been shortlisted for awards including the Bridport, the Manchester Prize for Fiction and the Raymond Carver Short Story Prize. In 2012 she won the inaugural Costa Short Story Award. Before becoming a full-time writer Avril worked as a teacher and manager in the women’s prison, HMP Low Newton. She lives with her partner in County Durham and blogs regularly about writing and life at

Avril Joy

Sometimes a River Song is available to pre-order from the Linen Press bookshop.