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Chalk Tracks: Stories from the Downlands

by Gina Challen

A debut collection; brooding short stories of haunted lives and fragile hopes.

Lillian helps people to die. Ruth encounters an unsettling stranger on the towpath. Kathy obsesses over a painting. Robyn puts her trust in a fox. Mags is a forager; he takes the things he wants.

Rooted in the landscape of the South Downs, where the chalk hills roll out to the sea, this incisive debut collection of short stories by Gina Challen explores the places where the familiar can become threatening.

‘Mesmerised and amazed me in equal measure. How does the author cram such a richly textured narrative into such a small space? How does she manage to say so much with so few words?’ Katy Darby


Originally a Londoner, the Downlands stole Gina Challen’s heart when she moved to West Sussex in 1979. Her passionate interest in rural life and the chalklands continues to inspire her writing.

She completed a Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Chichester in 2014. Her stories have appeared in numerous anthologies. Two were shortlisted for the Bridport Prize in 2014 and another was longlisted for the RSL’s VS Pritchett Prize in 2018. Her debut collection of short fiction, Chalk Tracks, was published by Valley Press in 2019.


Edition: First

Date Published: 2019-07-03

ISBN: 9781912436224

Catalogue Number: VP0142

Number of Pages: 134

Cover design by Fitzpatrick Designs

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