I’m new to the Goldsmiths Prize. It’s a prize given to a novel that breaks the mould for how a novel should be written. It’s only open to writer in the UK and the Republic of Ireland – that explains why Lincoln in the Bardo isn’t a contender, otherwise it really fits the criteria!
The blurb from Goldsmiths says:
The six shortlisted books offer resistance to the received idea of how a novel should be written. Variously, they break the rules on continuity, time, character arcs, perspective, voice, typographical conventions and structure. As such, there is a wildness to all of our chosen books that provokes in the reader a joyful inquiry about just what a novel might be there to do.” (Dr Naomi Wood, Chair of Judges)
Previous winners are:
2016: Solar Bones – Mike McCormack. This was longlisted for the Man Booker prize this year, and I have a copy waiting to be read because it sounds really great. It’s one sentence. One sentence!!!
2015: Beatlebone – Kevin Barry. I haven’t read this, but I bought a few copies to give as xmas gifts for people a few years ago – on the strength of several reviews I read. I wasn’t reading much myself back then, so didn’t get around to reading it myself.
2014: How to be Both – Ali Smith. Ahhh one I have read, and one of my earliest reviews, from before I really started blogging.
2013: A Girl is a Half-formed Thing – Eimear McBride. I just bought a copy of this a few weeks ago. Must read it soon. Must read it soon.
From the shortlist this year I have only read Reservoir 13 – Jon McGregor. Hmmm it wasn’t a book I liked, as you can tell from my review, but it sure has an unusual structure! From the rest of the shortlist there’s a few books I’ve been interested in reading: First Love by Gwendoline Riley, and Phone by Will Self (I read Great Apes a few years ago and really enjoyed it). As happens far too often, time and other books have got in the way.
Here this years shortlist (click for links to more information):
- H(a)ppy – Nicola Barker
- A Line Made by Walking – Sara Baume
- Playing Possum – Kevin Davey
- Reservoir 13 – Jon McGregor
- First Love – Gwendoline Riley
- Phone – Will Self
I look forward to seeing who wins on November 15th.
Which ones have you read, and who do you want to win?