‘Charlie Hill is a real writer’ – Jim Crace
Charlie Hill was asked to leave school at 12 and abandoned formal education at 16. His first job was in Birmingham’s fish market.
His first published writing – a piece attacking the critical thinking of civil servants – appeared in the Observer while he was working as a civil servant. His first novel The Space Between Things – a love story set against the backdrop of the 1990’s road protest movement and the wars in the Balkans – was a subversion of the traditional bildungsroman. His second, Books, was a plot-driven and unashamedly ‘commercial’ farce that questioned the value of such writing. These two novels attracted praise from The Observer, The Times, The Financial Times and the Morning Star and were covered sympathetically by the London Review of Books and the Guardian.
An essentially plotless novella, Stuff, was released in 2016 and described by Nicholas Royle in his introduction to Best British Short Stories (2017) as: ‘…an engrossing piece that…were the author French and his readers all French, might well have been regarded as a worthy late edition to the school of existentialist literature’. A pamphlet of short stories called Walking Backwards came out from V Press in 2017 and was reviewed in The Irish Times…
Charlie also writes the odd poem. His poetry has appeared in the webzines Ink, Sweat and Tears and I Am Not a Silent Poet and the print publications Prole and Under the Radar.
It would be a stretch to say that Charlie is in demand as a speaker, but he does get about the place. In 2016 he read at LiteraTurm in Frankfurt and the Birmingham Literary Festival; he has previously performed in Birmingham, Manchester, Oxford and Stratford-on-Avon and at both the London Short Story Festival and In Yer Ear.
He has also been interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Open Book.
‘linguistically dexterous’ – The Observer; ‘wonderfully observed’ – The Times; ‘sharp, funny and shrewd’ – Financial Times; ‘several glorious moments’ – London Review of Books; ‘a smart writer – provocative but not juvenile, ironic but not weary’ – Morning Star; ‘intelligent and witty’ – Jim Crace; ‘sensitive, evocative, touching’ – Alison Moore; ‘packs a considerable punch’ – Jonathan Coe; ‘Frankie Boyle channelling Frank Boscombe’ – Steven Mitchelmore, This Space; ‘sharp, caustic, intelligent’ – Charles Lambert; ‘A writer who really varies his focus and subject matter’ – Kate Pemberton, Ambit