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).
This is a new prize to me – I’ve only got 2 of those on the list (Emma Unsworth and Grace McLeen books) and even those I’ve not read yet! But I will – and look for others – especially if it has the power to lift the gloom of a Tory govt!
Haha, yeah I’m not sure how realistic that claim is! Hope you enjoy them. Emma Unsworth’s Animals was one of my favourite books last year (also loved her first Hungry, The Stars and Everything).
Great to see such diversity and Jarrett & Harvey deservedly on there. I look forward to ‘eventually’ reading the whole long list… Although by 18th June would be wishful thinking bordering on miraculous!
Yeah, I’m not even considering attempting it by then, I’ll just read through in my own sweet time!
I really would like to read Animals–every review I’ve read/heard is full of praise–and some of these others I’ve noted at the time of their release as well. It’s a brilliant idea for a prize. Gives those who didn’t make the Baileys or Booker shortlists another chance!
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Yes, that’s why I like it. For me, The Incarnations should have made every shortlist but it’s been overlooked again and again, so pleased it gets an opportunity in the spotlight at last. And Animals is wonderful – I cried laughing twice at i!
Really!? Well, that’s that, then: onto the “to be purchased” list it goes!
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Have read Dear Thief and The Offering from the list and cannot for the life of me understand why they were not shortlisted for The Bailey’s Prize…do hope they make this shortlist. Will be looking at some of the other titles too… 🙂
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Completely agree with Dear Thief; The Offering I had an issue with the ending but it is beautifully written and I’m very keen to read McCleen’s previous novels. I looked up the rest of the titles I hadn’t read yesterday and they look like corkers. Look forward to hearing which ones you love as you read them, Ann.
Thanks for this, Naomi – you’re so good at keeping on top of all these awards. I must get on and read The Offering – and pleased to see The Spice Box Letters on the list (my review here http://annegoodwin.weebly.com/annecdotal/-migration-and-memorial-the-spice-box-letters-by-eve-makis)
It’s too much time spent on Twitter, Anne! Brilliant, I’ll have a look at your review. The book seemed vaguely familiar when I saw the list but I wasn’t sure where I’d read about it…
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