Two New York Times bestsellers and the winner of the 2016 Waterstones Book of the Year are among 12 books on the longlist for the £30,000 International Dylan Thomas Prize in partnership with Swansea University.
Awarded for the best published literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under, the prize is named after the Swansea-born writer, Dylan Thomas, and celebrates his 39 years of creativity and productivity. One of the most influential, internationally-renowned writers of the mid-twentieth century, the prize invokes his memory to support the writers of today and nurture the talents of tomorrow.
Launched in 2006, The International Dylan Thomas Prize is the largest literary prize in the world for young writers.
This year’s longlist of 12 books comprises of: six novels, four short story collections, and two volumes of poetry. Ghanaian-American author, Yaa Gyasi, joins authors from the UK, America, Australia, Sri Lanka, and Jamaica on the longlist as they contend for the £30,000 prize.
• Anuk Arudpragasm - The Story of a Brief Marriage (Granta)
• Alys Conran - Pigeon (Parthian)
• Jonathan Safran Foer - Here I Am (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
• Yaa Gyasi - Homegoing (Alfred A Knopf)
• Benjamin Hale - The Fat Artist and Other Stories (Picador)
• Luke Kennard - Cain (Penned in the Margins)
• Hannah Kohler - The Outside Lands (Picador)
• Fiona McFarlane - The High Places (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
• Helen Oyeyemi - What is Not Yours is Not Yours (Picador)
• Sarah Perry - The Essex Serpent (Serpent's Tail)
• Safiya Sinclair - Cannibal (University of Nebraska Press)
• Callan Wink - Dog Run Moon: Stories (Granta)
Three debut novels feature on the longlist: Pigeon, by the north Walian author and creative writing lecturer, Alys Conran; The Outside Lands by Hannah Kohler, and The Story of a Brief Marriage by Anuk Arudpragasam.
Last year’s winner was Max Porter for his highly-acclaimed debut book, Grief is the Thing with Feathers - part novella, part polyphonic fable, part essay on grief. Porter has since been awarded The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year award for the same book.
Professor John Spurr, Head of the College of Arts and Humanities at Swansea University, said: “This year’s longlist demonstrates the breadth, humanity and promise being produced by young international writers of such incredible talent. Featuring prose and poetry from new and established authors from around the world, it is a longlist to be relished. At this stage, the only certainty now is that the judging panel will end up with an exceptionally strong shortlist of six stunningly gifted authors”.
Chaired by Professor Dai Smith CBE, Emeritus Raymond Williams Research Chair in the Cultural History of Wales at Swansea University, and historian and writer on Welsh arts and culture, this year’s judging panel also features: poet and scholar, Professor Kurt Heinzelman; Alison Hindell, Head of Audio Drama, UK for the BBC; novelist and Professor Sarah Moss, and author Prajwal Parajuly.
The shortlist of six books will be revealed at the end of March.
The winner will be announced on Wednesday 10 May at Swansea University’s Great Hall, in the run up to International Dylan Thomas Day on 14 May 2017.
- Thursday 9 February 2017 14.00 GMT
- Thursday 9 February 2017 11.50 GMT
- RIAH, Swansea University