I’ve loved the Fiction Uncovered prize since discovering it three years ago. It awards eight writers who haven’t garnered the recognition they deserve and the choices are always wonderful. This year, for the first time, a longlist has been announced and it looks amazing. There are fifteen books, eleven of which – ELEVEN – are by women writers. I’m impressed. I’ve only read four of them but they’re all fantastic; if you click on the titles you can read my reviews. I’m going to endeavour to read the rest now. The shortlist is announced on the 18th June.
A Man Lies Dreaming – Lavie Tidhar (Hodder & Stoughton)
Animals – Emma Jane Unsworth (Canongate Books)
Beastings – Benjamin Myers (Bluemoose Books)
Dear Thief – Samantha Harvey (Jonathan Cape, Penguin Random House)
Mobile Library – David Whitehouse (Picador, Pan Macmillan)
Mother Island – Bethan Roberts (Chatto & Windus, Penguin Random House)
Significance – Jo Mazelis (Seren Books)
The Four Marys – Jean Rafferty (Saraband)
The Incarnations – Susan Barker (Doubleday, Transworld)
The Offering – Grace McCleen (Sceptre, Hodder & Stougton)
The Redemption of Galen Pike – Carys Davies (Salt)
The Spice Box Letters – Eve Makis (Sandstone Press)
The Stray American – Wendy Brandmark (Holland Park Press)
The Way Out – Vicki Jarrett (Freight Books)
Wittgenstein Jr – Lars Iyer (Melville House UK)
This diverse group of books has been chosen by the judges as they display the flair, range and literary rigour abounding in British writing today and should, the judges believe, be widely read. In a nation reeling from the most divisive general election for many years, this is a group of books that can unify readers in the power of a good story.
Announcing the longlist, chair of judges India Knight said:
“It is absolutely thrilling to have found such brilliant books, across such a wide variety of genres, and from authors that live and write all over the country. These are fantastic writers who deserve to be household names.”
On the decision to release the longlist for the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize for the first time this year, prize Founder and Director Sophie Rochester said:
“With writers from Swansea, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bath, Brighton, Lancaster, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Glasgow and London, and publishers from Yorkshire, Wales, Scotland and Norfolk, this year’s longlist presents an exciting snapshot of contemporary British fiction writing and publishing.”
Joining India Knight on the judging panel this year are Matt Bates (WH Smith Travel), Cathy Galvin (Word Factory/Newsweek) and Simon Savidge (Savidge Reads).