Fairlight Moderns


Bottled Goods

by Sophie van Llewyn


Longlisted for The Women’s Prize for Fiction 2019

Bottled Goods by Sophie van Llewyn Fairlight Moderns

Published: 11/07/2018
ISBN: 9781912054305
Length: 190
RRP: £7.99
Format: Paperback

Longlisted for The Republic of Consciousness Prize 2019 and The People’s Book Prize 2018


Alina’s life was on the right track, until the secret service knocked on her door.


When Alina’s brother-in-law defects to the West, she and her husband become persons of interest to the secret services, causing both of their careers to come grinding to a halt.

As the strain takes its toll on their marriage, Alina turns to her aunt for help – the wife of a communist leader and a secret practitioner of the old folk ways.

Set in 1970s communist Romania, Sophie van Llewyn’s novella-in-flash draws upon magic realism to weave a tale of everyday troubles, that can’t be put down.


Need a little taster? Read Sophie van Llewyn’s flashes Of Gifts of Unknown Provenance and The Saturday When Everything Changed from Bottled Goods.

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Check out our YouTube channel for more videos of Sophie, including a reading from Bottled Goods.

A lovely, funny, sad and informative book…It almost reads like a Wes Anderson film Dolly Alderton, author of international bestseller Everything I Know About Love

Sophie van Llewyn’s stunning debut novella shows us there is no dystopian fiction as frightening as that which draws on history. Christina Dalcher, author of VOX

‘A story to savour, to smile at, to rage against and to weep over.’ Zoe Gilbert, author of Folk

‘The prose is tight, witty, vivid and atmospheric […] Every word on the page pulls its weight’ — Litro

This is an impressive debut in the tradition of Eastern European Absurdist fiction. Jude Higgins, Bath Flash Fiction Award organiser

Sophie van Llewyn has brought light into an era which cast a long shadow.’ Joanna Campbell, author of When Planets Slip Their Tracks

‘This stunning historical novella […] is both tense and atmospheric’ — Mslexia

A powerful, sophisticated, and emotional delve into Soviet-era Romania through the eyes and heart of a young woman. […] an exciting plot-driven read that offers a thoughtful, introspective look into a woman reaching maturity under a government that isn’t built for girls who ask questions.’ Independent Book Review

‘The uncertainties of life and love, and the insatiable quest for freedom – bottled neatly in a set of stories that captivate and enchant. Michelle Elvy, coordinator of New Zealand’s Flash Fiction Day and Bath Flash Fiction Award judge

A tour de force, a harrowing and ultimately triumphant story, a must-read by a masterful writer. Christopher Allen, author of Other Household Toxins

‘A masterful blend of the political and the personal, the magical and the mundane, the historical and the hyperbolic.’ Ingrid Jendrzejewski, Editor-in-Chief, FlashBack Fiction

‘[A] totally original and wonderful novella.’ Nikki Bedi, host of The Arts Hour, BBC World Service

‘A dizzying, daring window on life in Ceausescu’s Romania.’ Stephanie Hutton, author of Three Sisters of Stone

‘A lucid and powerfully affecting story.’ Helen Rye, winner of the Bath Flash Fiction Award