Claire-Louise Bennett has written two acclaimed works of fiction. Her debut Pond was published by Fitzcarraldo Editions in 2015. It was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize in 2016. In 2022 the highly-anticipated novel Checkout 19 was a pick of the year in The Guardian, The Telegraph and the New Statesman. It was shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize. Her short story ‘Invisible Bird recently appeared in The New Yorker.
Claire-Louise studied drama and has worked extensively in theatre, often speaking of her admiration for Samuel Beckett’s plays. Beckett’s prose too has been a major influence. In an interview in The Guardian she remarks how reading Beckett gives her ‘a sense of space and a kind of an ease, almost; you know, I don’t know if there is any kind of meaning and I don’t like to get too attached to ideas anyhow. I’m quite able to sort of just hang in a way.’ We are very pleased that Claire-Louise has taken the opportunity to hang a bit more with Beckett by engaging with Reading’s world-renowned collection of his papers.