But the short story can be a route to recognition in Britain. Take Carys Bray. In 2012 she won Salt Publishing’s Scott Prize. A Song for Issy Bradley (Hutchinson), her novel, looks set to be one of this summer’s biggest debuts. The woman behind the prize that discovered her, Jen Hamilton-Emery, has published short stories since 2006: “Interest has been gathering momentum. When we published our first collection there was little interest. Since then, a host of short-story competitions, festivals, events, courses, readings, magazines and websites have sprung up, and more bookshops have dedicated sections. Almost unheard of 10 years ago.”
Despite the complicated family ties, he says that all the children "get on very well". And he's particularly enjoyed raising a set of boys followed by a set of girls. "Boys are really simple," Knopfler says. "But there's nothing in the world as sweet as a little girl. Nothing. I suppose, now, my thing is a bit more touring around school holidays, and actually I'm having a break at the moment because of half-term. Dad's breakfast bar is temporarily closed. And also I do the chauffeuring a little bit. But to tell you the truth, I get off very, very easily. I think men do. I do certainly."