The bookshelves in Gaspar Noé’s 2018 feature film ‘Climax’

Controversial filmmaker Gaspar Noé’s 2018 feature film ‘Climax’ opens with a set of interviews being shown on an old television screen, either side of which there are bookshelves. The right-side shelves contain movies, the left books.

Anybody who has seen the film will instantly associate some of the titles with scenes in the movie, if you haven’t seen it this listing may be of use.

Here’s a listing of the books (from the bottom upwards):

Filmmaker Luis Buñuel’s ‘Mon Dernier Soupir’ his autobiography translated by Abigail Israel as ‘My Last Breath’.

Pierre Petit ‘Molinier, une vie d’enfer’. Pierre Molinier was a French painter, photographer and “maker of objects”. According to Wikipedia,

“In 1955 Molinier made contact with the leading surrealist Andre Breton and by 1959 was showing at the International Surrealist Exhibition. At this time they defined the purpose of his art as ‘for my own stimulation’, indicating they future direction in one of their exhibits in the 1965 Surrealist show – a dildo.

Between 1965 and his suicide in 1976, he chronicled his exploration of his subconscious transsexual desires in “Cent Photographies Erotiques”: graphically detailed images of pain and pleasure. Molinier, with the aid of a remote control switch, also began to create photographs in which he assumed the roles of dominatrix and succuba previously taken by the women of his paintings. In these black and white photographs, Molinier, either alone with doll-like mannequins or with female models, appears as a transvestite, transformed by his ‘fetish’ wardrobe of fishnet stockings, suspender belt, stilettos, mask and corset. In montages, an unlikely number of stockinged limbs intertwine to create the women of Molinier’s paintings.

He declared that all his erotic works had been painted for his own stimulation: “In painting, I was able to satisfy my leg and nipple fetishism.” His primary interest regarding his sexuality was neither the female body or the male body; Molinier said that legs of either sex arouse him equally, as long as they are hairless and dressed up in black stockings. Regarding his dolls, he said: “While a doll can function as a substitute for a woman, there is no movement, no life. This has a certain charm if one is before a beautiful corpse. The doll can, but does not have to become the substitute for a woman”[3]

For the last 11 years of his life Molinier played out his own most profound moments in the ‘theatre’ of his Bordeaux ‘boudoir – atelier’. He intended his photographs to shock, inviting the viewer to bring to the images his or her own response of excitement or disgust.”

‘L’aventure Hippie’ by Jean-Pierre Bouyxou and Pierre Delannoy. It subject matter is the birth of the sixties counterculture, with a special focus on French developments. It was first published at Plon in 1992.

A title by Carlos Castaneda, Castaneda wrote a series of books that purport to describe training in shamanism that he received under the tutelage of a Yaqui “Man of Knowledge” named don Juan Matus.

‘Taxi Driver’ by Paul Schrader. The film script.

‘Murnau’ by Lotte H. Eisner. A biography of German Expressionist F.W. Murnau which includes a copy of the original script of the film ‘Nosferatu’.

‘Fritz Lang’ (no author shown), one would assume it is a biography or an analysis of his films.

Michel Bakounine ‘Oeuvres’, a selection of works by the Russian revolutionary anarchist. He is among the most influential figures of anarchism and a major figure in the revolutionary socialist, social anarchist, and collectivist anarchist traditions. Bakunin’s prestige as a revolutionary also made him one of the most famous ideologues in Europe, gaining substantial influence among radicals throughout Russia and Europe.

‘Les Sociétés Secrètes’ (‘Secret Societies’) author indecipherable.

‘Psychopathologie de la vie quotidienne’ by Sigmund Freud. Translated as ‘The Psychopathology of Everyday Life’

‘l’inconscient’ by Sigmund Freud. Translated as ‘The Unconscious’

‘Nietzsche’ by Stefan Zweig. A biographical study of the philosopher Nietzsche.

‘Mi Hermana y yo’ by Freidrich Nietzsche. Translated as ‘My Sister and I’.

‘Mon voyage en enfer’ by Patricia Hearst. The English title is ‘Every Secret Thing’ where Hearst provides her personal account of her activities and relationships beginning with her kidnapping by the Symbionese Liberation Army on February 4, 1974.

‘L’histoire de l’œil’ by Georges Bataille, a 1928 novella written by Georges Bataille that details the increasingly bizarre sexual perversions of a pair of teenage lovers, including an early depiction of omorashi fetishism in Western literature. It is narrated by the young man looking back on his exploits.

Virginie Despentes ‘Baise Moi’.  The blurb reads: Manu and Nadine have had all they can take. Manu has been brutally raped and determines it’s not worth leaving anything precious lying vulnerable—including her very self. She teams up with Nadine, a nihilist who watches pornography incessantly, and they enact their own version of les vols et les viols (rape and pillage)—they lure men sexually, use them up, then rob and kill them.

‘Frisson De Bonheur’ by Philippe Vuillemin. I believe this is a rare graphic novel.

‘Le meilleur de moi-meme’ by Philippe Vuillemin

Oscar Wilde’s ‘De Profundis’. The letter written by Oscar Wilde during his imprisonment in Reading Gaol, to “Bosie” (Lord Alfred Douglas).

In its first half, Wilde recounts their previous relationship and extravagant lifestyle which eventually led to Wilde’s conviction and imprisonment for gross indecency. He indicts both Lord Alfred’s vanity and his own weakness in acceding to those wishes. In the second half, Wilde charts his spiritual development in prison and identification with Jesus Christ, whom he characterises as a romantic, individualist artist. The letter begins “Dear Bosie” and ends “Your Affectionate Friend”.

‘Suicide mode d’emploi’ by Claude Guillon and Yves Le Bonniec.

‘Mars’ by Fritz Zorn. ‘Mars’ is an autobiographical book by Fritz Angst (1944–1976) under the pseudonym Fritz Zorn.

‘Cinemas Homosexuels’ by Marcelle Yazbeck. A single issue French cinema journal focussing on homosexuality in cinema, published in 1981 by Papyrus

Osvaldo Lamborghini’s ‘Novelas y cuentos’. Avant-garde Argentine writer this work not translated into English. Two of his stories and three of his poems have been translated and published by Sublunary Editions in the USA (coincidentally his poems appeared in ‘Firmament’ Issue 1.1, where a number of my own ‘Fragments’ also appeared!!!)

‘platt plein daz’ spine does not contain an author

Luis Buñuel and the number “4”. I believe this is Ado Kyrou’s ‘Luis Bunuel, CINEMA D’AUJOURD’HUI No: 4’

‘La Métamorphose’ by Franz Kafka

“Anourses Contes” – whatever that means?

Emil Cioran ‘De l’inconvénient d’être né’. Translated as ‘The Trouble With Being Born’. Here’s a quote for those who have seen the film “We Do not rush toward death, we flee the catastrophe of birth, survivors struggling to forget it.”

‘Les Paradis artificiels’ by Charles Baudelaire. First published in 1860, about the state of being under the influence of opium and hashish. Baudelaire describes the effects of the drugs and discusses the way in which they could theoretically aid mankind in reaching an “ideal” world.

‘Jacques le Fatalist’ by Denis Diderot. (“Jacques the Fatalist and his Master” in translation by various translators).

Nietzsche ‘Par-delà le bien et mal’. Translated as ‘Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future’

The films on the right-hand side of the shelves were a lot simpler to decipher (find):

The Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome
Un Chien Andalou
Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom
The Mother and the Whore
Fox and His Friends

Although this has taken me an inordinate amount of time to decipher it has added another layer to the film ‘Climax”, one I thoroughly recommend.


The Erasers – Alain Robbe-Grillet (translated by Richard Howard)

He decides to go into a shop to ask the way to the Rue de Corinthe. It is a small bookstore that also sells stationery, pencils, and paints for children. The saleswoman stands up to wait on him:
“I’d like a very soft gum eraser, for drawing.”
“Yes of course, Monsieur.” (P168)

Alain Robbe-Grillet’s debut novel ‘The Erasers’ (originally published by Les Editions de Miunit, Paris, France as ‘Les Gommes’ in 1953) won the Prix Fénéon for Literature in 1954, (in fact it shared the prize with  Jean-Luc Déjean for ‘Les Voleurs de pauvres’ and Albert Memmi for ‘La Statue de sel’). An example of the “nouveau roman” it takes place in a 24 hour period and features the viewpoint of numerous characters, at times overlapping on a single page.

As the plot summary on Wikipedia says “Someone attempts to assassinate a man, Daniel Dupont, in his own home. The assassin appears to have been ordered by a terrorist group to assassinate Dupont for political reasons. Suffering a slight bullet wound to the arm, Dupont fakes his death with the help of Doctor Juard. Wallas, a newly promoted investigator, tries to unearth those responsible for the assassination, despite there being no body recovered by the police.”

Whilst there are numerous techniques I could write about, for example the references to “time” (a watch that has stopped, a “bronze clock on the mantelpiece, between the empty candlesticks, had also stopped”) or the descriptions of the periphery outside of the main characters, I thought I’d highlight the title ‘The Erasers’ and the various references throughout.

Page number references come from the Grove Press edition 1964, translated by Richard Howard.

Noticing an open stationery shop, Wallas walks in for no particular reason. A young girl who had been sitting behind the counter stands up to wait on him.
She has a pretty, slightly sullen face and blond hair.
“I’d like a very soft gum eraser, for drawing.”
“Certainly, Monsieur.”
She turns back toward the drawers that line the wall. Her hair, combed straight up from the back of her neck, makes her look older, seen from behind. She searches through one of the drawers and sets down in front of Wallas a yellow eraser with bevelled edges, longer than it is wide, an ordinary article for schoolchildren. He asks:
“Haven’t you any supplies just for drawing?”
“This is a drawing eraser, Monsieur.”
She encourages him with a half-smile. Wallas picks up the eraser to examine it more carefully; then he looks at the young girl, her eyes, her fleshy, half-parted lips. He smiles in his turn.
“What I wanted…”
She tilts her head slightly, as though to pay special attention to what he is going to say.
“…was something more crumbly.”
“Really, Monsieur, I can assure you this is a very good pencil eraser. All our customers are satisfied with it.”
“All right,” Wallas says, “I’ll try it. How much is it?”
He pays and leaves the store. She accompanies him to the door. No, she’s no longer a child: her hips, her slow gait are almost a woman’s.
Once out in the street, Wallas mechanically fingers the little eraser; it is obvious from the way it feels that it is no good at all. It would have been surprising, really, for it to be otherwise in so modest a shop….That girl was nice….He rubs his thumb across the end of the eraser. It is not at all what he is looking for. (P61-62)

Note the very similar conversation and description taken from page 168, this novel contains many circular and repetitive, slightly altered, descriptions. In some instances, the same lines are repeated in reverse.

However, the police chief commissioner, Laurent, has a different eraser:

In making room for his ledgers, the commissioner has shifted the dossiers that cover his desk, thereby causing the piece of grayish eraser to reappear, an ink eraser probably, whose poor quality is betrayed by several worn, slightly shiny places. (p72)

Are these erasers an allegory for the characters involved? Soft and pliable, vs hard and abrasive, new vs poor quality and worn?

“I’d like an eraser,” Wallas says.
“Yes. What kind of eraser?”
That’s the whole point, and Wallas once again begins describing what he is looking for: a soft, crumbly gum eraser that friction does not twist but reduces to dust; an eraser that cuts easily and whose cut surface is shiny and smooth, like mother-of -pearl. He has seen one such, a few months ago, at a friend’s but the friend could not tell him where it came from. He thought he could find one himself one of the same kind without difficulty, but he’s been searching in vain ever since. It looked like a yellowish cube, about an inch or two long, with the corners slightly rounded -– maybe by use. The manufacturer’s brand was printed on one side, but was too worn to be legible any more: only two of the middle letters were still clear: “di”: there must have been at least two letters before and perhaps two or three others after.
The young woman tries to complete the name, but without success. She shows him, with mounting discouragement, all the erasers in the shop – and she has, in fact, a splendid stock – whose respective merits she warmly extols. But they are all either too soft or too hard: ‘breadcrumb” erasers, as easily kneaded as modelling clay, or else dry and grayish substances which abrade the paper – good at best for getting rid of ink blots; the rest are pencil erasers of the usual kind, more or less elongated rectangles of more or less white rubber. (P126)

Are these erasers that Wallas is seeking, or the one that the police commissioner has on his desk more than allegories, are they hidden clues to assist the reader in solving the mystery of Daniel Dupont’s shooting?

A few stationery articles were exhibited among the illustrated magazines and the brightly colored covers of the detective stories; Wallas asked to see some erasers. (P221)

I noted here the brightly coloured (I use English spelling) cover of this particular detective novel.

Wallas steps into a crowded, dusty shop that seems intended for the storage of merchandise rather than its retail sale. At the rear, a man in an apron is nailing shut a crate. He stops pounding to try and understand what kind of eraser Wallas wants. (P231)

Allegory? Plot device? McGuffin? Peripheral incidental detail? Clues? What are these erasers? I suppose you’ll have to read the novel yourself to find out.

Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize Longlist 2023

Earlier today the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize announced a longlist of sixteen titles in translation, normally only announcing a shortlist of eight titles they have moved to a longlist since 2022, stating that this is to showcase the diversity of the entries.

The Prize is for a book-length literary translation, into English, from any living European language. “It aims to honour the craft of translation and to recognise its cultural importance”. It was founded by Lord Weidenfeld and is supported by New College, The Queen’s College, and St Anne’s College, Oxford.

The shortlist of eight titles will be announced later this month with the winner being announced on “Oxford Translation Day” in June with a prize of £2,000 being awarded.

The judges for 2023 are Vittoria Fallanca, Joseph Hankinson, Tinashe Mushakavanhu, and Holly Langstaff (Chair).

The 2023 longlist is as follows

‘The Censor’s Notebook’ by Liliana Corobca, translated from the Romanian by Monica Cure (Seven Stories)

‘Never Did the Fire’ by Diamela Eltit, translated from the Spanish (Chile) by Daniel Hahn (Charco Press)

‘Strangers I Know’ by Claudia Durastanti, translated from the Italian by Elizabeth Harris (Fitzcarraldo Editions)

‘Still Born’ by Guadalupe Nettel, translated from the Spanish (Mexico) by Rosalind Harvey (Fitzcarraldo Editions)

‘Telluria’ by Vladimir Sorokin, translated from the Russian by Max Lawton (NYRB)

‘When I Sing, Mountains Dance’ by Irene Solà, translated from the Catalan by Mara Faye Lethem (Granta Books)

‘The Queens of Sarmiento Park’ by Camila Sosa Villada, translated from the Spanish (Mexico) by Kit Maude (Virago)

‘Chilean Poet’ by Alejandro Zambra, translated from the Spanish (Chile) by Megan McDowell (Granta Books)

‘Antonio’ by Beatriz Bracher, translated from the Portuguese (Brazil) by Adam Morris (Pushkin Press)

‘Lucky Breaks’ by Yevgenia Belorusets, translated from the Russian (Ukraine) by Eugene Ostashevsky (Pushkin Press)

‘Awake’ by Harald Voetmann, translated from the Danish by Johanne Sorgenfri Ottosen (Lolli Editions)

‘Swanfolk’ by Kristín Ómarsdóttir, translated from the Icelandic by Vala Thorodds (Penguin Books)

‘The Last One’ by Fatima Daas, translated from the French by Lara Vergnaud (HopeRoad)

‘Of Saints and Miracles’ by Manuel Astur, translated from the Spanish by Claire Wadie (Peirene Press)

‘The Map’ by Barbara Sadurska, translated from the Polish by Kate Webster (Terra Librorum)

‘Standing Heavy’ by Gauz, translated from the French (Ivory Coast) by Frank Wynne (Maclehose)

Prize updates – Stella, Republic of Consciousness, EBRD Literature and Women’s Prize for Fiction

There’s a plethora of prize new to catch up on.

Stella Prize

The Stella Prize is a one of the major Australian literary awards, one that celebrates Australian women’s writing, cis, trans, and non-binary inclusive, and champions diversity and cultural change.

The prize is named after one of Australia’s iconic female authors, Stella Maria Sarah ‘Miles’ Franklin, and was awarded for the first time in 2013. Last year the award was changed to allow:





Collections of short stories by a single author

Single-author poetry collections of at least 40 pages

Verse novels

Novellas of at least 20,000 words, and

Illustrated books, including graphic novels, provided they are accompanied by a substantial quantity of text.

On 30 March 2023 the following shortlist was announced:

‘We Come With This Place’ by Debra Dank
‘big beautiful female theory’ by Eloise Grills
‘The Jaguar’ by Sarah Holland-Batt
‘Hydra’ by Adriane Howell
‘Indelible City: Dispossession and Defiance in Hong Kong’ by Louisa Lim
‘Bad Art Mother’ by Edwina Preston

On 25 April the winner was announced, and for the second year running it has gone to a collection of poetry (poetry has only been eligible for the last two years and last year’s winner was Evelyn Araluen’s collection ‘Dop Bear’). Sarah Holland-Batt’s collection ‘The Jaguar’ taking home the $60,000 prize. The judges said:

With electrifying boldness, Sarah Holland-Batt confronts what it means to be mortal in an astonishing and deeply humane portrait of a father’s Parkinson’s Disease, and a daughter forged by grief.

I interviewed Sarah Holland-Batt in 2017, about her Prime Minister’s Literary Award win for ‘The Hazards’, a review and part of the interview was published at ‘Southerly’ and the full interview can be read here.

The Republic of Consciousness Prize (UK)

The Republic of Consciousness Prize was established by author Neil Griffiths with £2,000 of his own money to celebrate “small presses producing brilliant and brave literary fiction” in the UK and Ireland. Small presses being defined as having fewer than five full-time employees. The first Prize was awarded in 2017 to John Keene’s ‘Counternarratives’ (Fitzcarraldo Editions) and subsequent winners have been Eley Williams’ ‘Attrib. and Other Stories’ (Influx Press) in 2018, Will Eaves for ‘Murmur’ (CB Editions) in 2019, Jean-Baptiste Del Amo took home the prize for ‘Animalia’ in 2020, translated by Frank Wynne (Fitzcarraldo Editions), 201 Jacaranda Books took the main gong for ‘Lote” by Shola von Reinhold and last year Norman Erikson Pasaribu’s ‘Happy Stories, Mostly’, translated by Tiffany Tsao (Tilted Axis Press) won the award.

The 2023 longlist can be seen here.

The winner was announced last week, Missouri Williams’ ‘The Doloriad’. Prize founder, Neil Griffiths: “A terrifying act of the imagination. Missouri Williams is one of those rare writers who can work without limits, and take us to a place that is both unrecognisable and familiar. Which is to say she makes us acknowledge the darkness we know lies at the centre of ourselves. The best dystopian novels are not about time or place but what it is within that takes us there.”

And judge Lamorna Ash said: “The assurance of its style alone would make The Doloriad a superlative novel. That such stylistic power is in service of a plot so strange, counter, original, its mood flashing between the tragic, comic and sublime in the most surprising sequencing, raises The Doloriad’s achievement to something astonishing. What is at stake in this novel is salvation, whether humanity might be worthy or capable of salvation once the known world is over. It matters that indie presses like Dead Ink exist in the publishing industry to support and champion debuts as audacious as this, and we want to celebrate them for that.”

EBRD Literature Prize

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (“EBRD”) Literature Prize was created in 2017 and is awarded to the year’s “best work of literary fiction”, translated into English, from the Bank’s countries of operations, and published by a UK publisher.

There is a €20,000 prize which is split equally between the author and translator. The two runners-up and their translators receive a prize of €4,000 each.

The three finalists for the 2023 award are:

‘Mister N’ by Najwa Barakat, translated from the Arabic by Luke Leafgren (And Other Stories)
‘The Lake’ by Bianca Bellová, translated from the Czech by Alex Zucker (Parthian Books)
‘The Books of Jacob’ by Olga Tokarczuk, translated from the Polish by Jennifer Croft (Fitzcarraldo Editions)

The winner will be announced on 15 June 2023.

Women’s Prize for Fiction.

Last week the shortlist for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2023 was announced.

The six shortlisted books are as follows:

‘Fire Rush’ by Jacqueline Crooks
‘Trespasses’ by Louise Kennedy
‘Demon Copperhead’ by Barbara Kingsolver
‘Black Butterflies’ by Priscilla Morris
‘The Marriage Portrait’ by Maggie O’Farrell
‘Pod’ by Laline Paull

The winner of the prize will be announced on Wednesday 14 June 2023.

Dylan Thomas Prize 2023 Shortlist

Launched in 2006 the Dylan Thomas Prize is “aimed at encouraging raw creative talent worldwide.” It is awarded for the best published literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under, and celebrates the international world of fiction in all its forms including poetry, novels, short stories and drama. On Thursday the judges of the 2023 Dylan Thomas Prize announced this year’s shortlist. The list contains four debuts, comprising of three novels, two short story collections and one book of poetry.

The longlist was announced on 26 January 2023 and the twelve titles have been whittled down to a shortlist of six books.

Here is the shortlist, with blurbs taken from the Swansea University website:

 ‘Limberlost’ by Robbie Arnott (Atlantic Books)

Ned West dreams of sailing across the river on a boat of his very own. To Ned, a boat means freedom – the fresh open water, squid-rich reefs, fires on private beaches – a far cry from life on Limberlost, the family farm, where his father worries and grieves for Ned’s older brothers. They’re away fighting in a ruthless and distant war, becoming men on the battlefield, while Ned – too young to enlist – roams the land in search of rabbits to shoot, selling their pelts to fund his secret boat ambitions.

But as the seasons pass and Ned grows up, real life gets in the way. Ned falls for Callie, the tough, capable sister of his best friend, and together they learn the lessons of love, loss, and hardship. When a storm decimates the Limberlost crop and shakes the orchard’s future, Ned must decide what to protect: his childhood dreams, or the people and the land that surround him…

At turns tender and vicious, Limberlost is a tale of the masculinities we inherit, the limits of ownership and understanding, and the teeming, vibrant wonders of growing up. Told in spellbinding, folkloric spirit, this is an unforgettable love letter to the richness of the natural world from a writer of rare talent.

Seven Steeples by Sara Baume (Tramp Press)

It is the winter following the summer they met. A couple, Bell and Sigh, move into a remote house in the Irish countryside with their dogs. Both solitary with misanthropic tendencies, they leave the conventional lives stretched out before them to build another–one embedded in ritual, and away from the friends and family from whom they’ve drifted.

They arrive at their new home on a clear January day and look up to appraise the view. A mountain gently and unspectacularly ascends from the Atlantic, ‘as if it had accumulated stature over centuries. As if, over centuries, it had steadily flattened itself upwards.’ They make a promise to climb the mountain, but – over the course of the next seven years – it remains un-climbed. We move through the seasons with Bell and Sigh as they come to understand more about the small world around them, and as their interest in the wider world recedes.

Seven Steeples is a beautiful and profound meditation on the nature of love, and the resilience of nature. Through Bell and Sigh, and the life they create for themselves, Sara Baume explores what it means to escape the traditional paths laid out before us – and what it means to evolve in devotion to another person, and to the landscape.

God’s Children Are Little Broken Things by Arinze Ifeakandu (Orion, Weidenfeld & Nicolson)

A man revisits the university campus where he lost his first love, aware now of what he couldn’t understand then. A daughter returns home to Lagos after the death of her father, where she must face her past – and future -relationship with his longtime partner. A young musician rises to fame at the risk of losing himself and the man who loves him.

Generations collide, families break and are remade, languages and cultures intertwine, and lovers find their ways to futures; from childhood through adulthood; on university campuses, city centres, and neighbourhoods where church bells mingle with the morning call to prayer.

I’m a Fan by Sheena Patel (Rough Trade Press / Granta)

In I’m A Fan single speaker uses the story of their experience in a seemingly unequal, unfaithful relationship as a prism through which to examine the complicated hold we each have on one another. With a clear and unforgiving eye, the narrator unpicks the behaviour of all involved, herself included, and makes startling connections between the power struggles at the heart of human relationships and those of the wider world, in turn offering a devastating critique of access, social media, patriarchal heteronormative relationships, and our cultural obsession with status and how that status is conveyed.

In this incredible debut, Sheena Patel announces herself as a vital new voice in literature, capable of rendering a range of emotions and visceral experiences on the page. Sex, violence, politics, tenderness, humour—Patel handles them all with both originality and dexterity of voice.

Send Nudes by Saba Sams (Bloomsbury Publishing)

In ten dazzling stories, Saba Sams dives into the world of girlhood and immerses us in its contradictions and complexities: growing up too quickly, yet not quickly enough; taking possession of what one can, while being taken possession of; succumbing to societal pressure but also orchestrating that pressure. These young women are feral yet attentive, fierce yet vulnerable, exploited yet exploitative.

Threading between clubs at closing time, pub toilets, drenched music festivals and beach holidays, these unforgettable short stories deftly chart the treacherous terrain of growing up – of intense friendships, of ambivalent mothers, of uneasily blended families, and of learning to truly live in your own body.

With striking wit, originality and tenderness, Send Nudes celebrates the small victories in a world that tries to claim each young woman as its own.

Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head by Warsan Shire (Chatto & Windus, [Vintage])

With her first full-length poetry collection, Warsan Shire introduces us to a girl who, in the absence of a nurturing guide, makes her own stumbling way toward womanhood. Drawing from her own life and the lives of loved ones, as well as pop culture and news headlines, Shire finds vivid, unique details in the experiences of refugees and immigrants, mothers and daughters, Black women and teenage girls. These are noisy lives, full of music and weeping and surahs. These are fragrant lives, full of blood and perfume and jasmine. These are polychrome lives, full of moonlight and turmeric and kohl.

The long-awaited collection from one of our most exciting contemporary poets is a blessing, an incantatory celebration of survival. Each reader will come away changed.

The 2023 judges are Di Spears (Chair), Prajwal Parajuly, Rachel Long, Jon Gower and Maggie Shipstead.

I have read two of the six titles and without giving too much away I hope one of the other four win it!!

And it is interesting how the Prize encourages “raw creative talent worldwide” but is restricted to a work published in the English language!

The Society of Authors Translation Prizes

The Society of Authors is a UK based trade union for all types of writers, illustrators and literary translators, at all stages of their careers. They administer grants and prizes, with over £120,000 in awards for fiction, non-fiction, poetry, translation and drama.

The translation prizes “recognize outstanding translations from works in Arabic, Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Swedish.” Some prizes are awarded bi-annually and the Japanese one is to commence in 2024.

Here are the recently announced winners (announced on 8 February 2023), many works, if eligible, possibly appearing in the soon (14 March 2023) to be announced Booker International Prize.

Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize (Arabic).

The winner is awarded £3,000 and a runner-up is awarded £1,000.

Winner: Humphrey Davies for a translation of ‘The Men Who Swallowed The Sun’ by Hamdi Abu Golayyel (Hoopoe)

Runner Up: Robin Moger for a translation of ‘Slipping’ by Mohamed Kheir (Two Lines Press)

Dutch – Vondel Prize

“The Vondel Prize is a triennial award of €5000 for translation into English of full length Dutch language works of literary merit and general interest.”

Winner: David Doherty for a translation of ‘Summer Brother’ by Jaap Robben, (World Editions)

Runner up: David McKay for a translation of ‘Adrift in the Middle Kingdom’ by J. Slauerhoff (Handheld Press)

Italian – John Florio Prize

“The John Florio Prize is a biennial award for translations into English of full length Italian works of literary merit and general interest. The winner is awarded £3,000 and a runner-up is awarded £1,000.”

Winner: Nicholas Benson and Elena Coda for a translation of ‘My Karst and My City’ by Scipio Slataper (University of Toronto Press)

Runners up: J Ockenden for a translation of ‘Snow, Dog, Foot’ by Claudio Morandini (Peirene Press), and Tim Parks for translations of ‘The House on The Hill’ and ‘The Moon and the Bonfires’ by Cesare Pavese (Penguin Press)

German – Schlegel-Tieck Prize

‘The Schlegel-Tieck Prize is an annual award for translations into English of full length German works of literary merit and general interest. The winner is awarded £3,000 and a runner-up is awarded £1,000.’

Winner: Damion Searls for a translation of ‘Where You Come From’ by Saša Stanišić (Jonathan Cape, Penguin Random House UK)

Runner Up: Steph Morris for a translation of ‘It All Tastes of Farewell: Diaries, 1964-1970’, by Brigitte Reimann (Seagull Books)

French – Scott Moncrieff Prize

“The Scott Moncrieff Prize is an annual award for translations into English of full length French works of literary merit and general interest. The winner is awarded £3,000 and a runner-up is awarded £1,000.”

Winner: Sarah Ardizzone for a translation of ‘Men Don’t Cry’ by Faïza Guène (Cavassa Republic Press) 

Runner Up: Lara Vergnaud for a translation ‘The Ardent Swarm’ by Yamen Manai (Amazon Crossing)

Hebrew – TLS-Risa Domb/Porjes Prize

“The TLS-Risa Domb/Porjes Prize of £2,000 has been awarded triennially since 1998 and recognises the English translation of a full-length Hebrew book, fiction or non-fiction, of general interest and literary merit.”

Winner: Linda Yechiel for a translation of ‘House on Endless Waters’ by Emuna Elon (Allen & Unwin, Atlantic Books)

Spanish – Premio Valle Inclán

“The Premio Valle Inclán is an annual prize for translations into English of full length Spanish language works of literary merit and general interest. The prize was established in 1997. The winner is awarded £3,000 and a runner-up is awarded £1,000.”

Winner: Annie McDermott for a translation of ‘Wars of the Interior’ by Joseph Zárate (Granta)

Runner Up: Julia Sanches for a translation of ‘Slash and Burn’ by Claudia Hernández (And Other Stories)

TA First Translation Prize

“The TA First Translation Prize is an annual prize for a debut literary translation into English published in the UK and Ireland. The winner is awarded £3,000 and a runner-up is awarded £1,000. The Prize is shared between the translator and their editor.”

Winner: Marta Dziurosz and editors Zeljka Marosevic and Sophie Missing for a translation of ‘The Things I Didn’t Throw Out’ by Marcin Wicha (Daunt Books Publishing) Translated from Polish.

Runners Up: Jo Heinrich and editor Gesche Ipsen for a translation of ‘Marzahn, Mon Amour’ by Katja Oskamp (Peirene Press) Translated from German.

Abigail Wender and editor Katy Derbyshire for a translation of ‘The Bureau of Past Management’ by Iris Hanika (V&Q Books) Translated from German.

Rathbones Folio Prize Shortlists 2023

The Rathbones Folio Prize commenced in 2014, under the name of the “Folio Prize” as it was sponsored by the London based publisher “The Folio Society” for its first two years. There was no prize in 2016.  Since 2017 it has been sponsored by Rathbones Investment Management.

The prize was created after a group “took umbrage at the direction they saw the Booker Prize taking…leaning toward popular fiction rather than literary fiction” its launch also coincided with the Booker’s decision to open the award up to international writers, writing in English, in 2013. However, during the first two years the prize was presented to an English language book of fiction published in the UK by an author from any country. The prize dropped from £40,000 in 2014 and 2015 to £20,000 in 2017 and 2018, then climbed to £30,000 from 2019 onwards.

Since Rathbone’s sponsorship, from 2017, the prize was awarded to the best new work of literature published in the English language during a given year, regardless of form (fiction, non-fiction, and poetry).

New for 2023 the Prize will celebrate three distinct shortlists for Fiction, Non-Fiction and Poetry, to be announced on Tuesday 31st January 2023.

Each category winner, selected from a shortlist of four, will receive a £2,000 prize and one book will then be crowned overall Rathbones Folio Prize winner, with the author receiving an additional £30,000, The Winners will be announced on Monday 27th March 2023.

“The jury for the prize is called the Academy, a body of more than 250 writers and critics that includes Margaret Atwood, Peter Carey, A. S. Byatt, Zadie Smith and J. M. Coetzee. Books are nominated by members of the Academy, three each, ranked. Points are given to each book depending on how many first, second or third rankings are earned. The top scoring books are made into a longlist of 60 books (80 in the first two years). The list of nominated titles is then judged by a panel of three to five judges drawn from the Academy who select a shortlist of eight and the final winner.” (Thanks Wikipedia) A full membership listing can be found here. 

The judges for the 2023 are Ali Smith (chair), Jackie Kay and Guy Gunaratne.

Earlier this week the three shortlists for the 2023 Rathbones Folio Prize were announced, here are those works (listed in alphabetical order by author surname). The blurbs are taken straight from the Rathbones Folio Prize website.


‘Glory’ by NoViolet Bulawayo

A long time ago, in a bountiful land not so far away, the animal denizens lived quite happily. Then the colonisers arrived. After nearly a hundred years, a bloody War of Liberation brought new hope for the animals – along with a new leader. Glory tells the story of a country seemingly trapped in a cycle as old as time. And yet, as it unveils the myriad tricks required to uphold the illusion of absolute power, it reminds us that the glory of tyranny only lasts as long as its victims are willing to let it.

‘Scary Monsters’ by Michelle de Kretser

Lyle works for a sinister government department in near-future Australia. An Asian migrant, he fears repatriation and embraces ‘Australian values’. Lili’s family migrated to Australia from Asia when she was a teenager. Now, in the 1980s, she’s teaching in the south of France.

Three scary monsters – racism, misogyny and ageism – roam through the novel, its reversible format enacting the disorientation that migrants experience when changing countries.

‘Pure Colour’ by Sheila Heti

A woman named Mira leaves home to study. There, she meets Annie, whose tremendous power opens Mira’s chest like a portal – to what, she doesn’t know. When Mira is older, her beloved father dies, and she enters that strange and dizzying dimension that true loss opens up. Pure Colour tells the story of a life, from beginning to end.

‘Emergency’ by Daisy Hildyard

Stuck at home alone under lockdown, a woman recounts her 1990s childhood in rural Yorkshire. She watches a kestrel hunting, helps a farmer with a renegade bull, and plays outside with her best friend, Clare. Around her in the village her neighbours are arguing, keeping secrets, caring for one another, trying to hold down jobs. In the woods and quarry there are fox cubs fighting, plants competing for space, ageing machines, and a three-legged deer who likes cake. Emergency reinvents the pastoral novel for the climate change era.

‘Lucy By the Sea’ by Elizabeth Strout

Lucy, the indomitable heroine of My Name is Lucy Barton and Oh, William!, is uprooted from her life in New York City and reluctantly goes into lockdown with her ex-husband William in a house on the coast of Maine.


‘The Passengers’ by Will Ashon

Between October 2018 and March 2021, Will Ashon collected voices – people talking about their lives, needs, dreams, loves, hopes and fears. He used a range of methods including letters sent to random addresses, hitchhiking, referrals from strangers and so on. The resulting testimonies tell the collective story of what it feels like to be alive in a particular time and place – here and now.

‘In Love’ by Amy Bloom

In 2020, Amy Bloom travelled with her husband Brian to Switzerland, where he was helped by Dignitas to end his life, while she sat with him and held his hand. In Love is Bloom’s intimate account of losing Brian: from his diagnosis with Alzheimer’s and the slow onset of the disease, through to her becoming a widow. It is a passionate outpouring of love, and a moving reflection on the enduring power of a marriage.

‘The Escape Artist’ by Jonathan Freedland

In April 1944 nineteen-year-old Rudolf Vrba and fellow inmate Fred Wetzler became two of the first Jews ever to break out of Auschwitz. Crawling under electrified fences and past armed watchtowers, evading thousands of SS men and their dogs, they trekked across marshlands, mountains and rivers to freedom. Vrba’s mission: to reveal to the world the truth of the Holocaust.  The knowledge he brought to light would eventually save over 200,000 lives. After the war, he kept running – from his past, from his home country, from his adopted country, even from his own name. Few knew of the truly extraordinary deed he had done.

‘Constructing a Nervous System’ by Margo Jefferson

In Constructing a Nervous System, Margo Jefferson shatters herself into pieces to examine each influence, love and passion that has thrilled and troubled her and made up her sense of self as a person and as a writer – her family, jazz luminaries, dancers, writers, lovers, artists, athletes and stars. Infused with the criticism that she is known for, Jefferson interrogates race, class, family, art and identity as well as the act of writing memoir, and probes fissures at the centre of American cultural life.

‘The Social Distance Between Us’ by Darren McGarvey

Why are the rich getting richer while the poor only get poorer? How is it possible that in a wealthy, civilised democracy cruelty and inequality are perpetuated by our own public services? And how come, if all the best people are in all the top jobs, Britain is such an unmitigated bin fire? Writer, performer and activist Darren McGarvey takes us on a journey through a divided Britain in search of answers. Here, our latter-day Orwell exposes the true scale of Britain’s social ills and reveals why our current political class, those tasked with bringing solutions, are so distanced from our lived experience that they are the last people you’d want fighting your corner.


‘Ephemeron’ by Fiona Benson

The poems in Ephemeron deal with the shortlived and transitory. Telling uncomfortable truths, going deep into male and female drives and desires, our most tender and vulnerable places, and speaking of them in frank, unshrinking ways – these poems are afraid, certainly, but also beautiful, resolute and brave.

‘Quiet’ by Victoria Adukwei Bulley

Victoria Adukwei Bulley’s debut collection, Quiet, circles around ideas of black interiority, intimacy and selfhood, playing at the the tensions between the impulse to guard one’s ‘inner life’ and the knowledge that, as Audre Lorde writes, ‘your silence will not protect you’.

‘Cane, Corn & Gully’ by Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa

Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa’s debut poetry collection uses dance to unearth the narratives of enslaved women in Barbados and their descendants. The collection features reconstructed dance scores of enslaved people using a technique Safiya developed transforming choreography into poetry and vice versa. Barbados itself becomes a guest choreographer to challenge the original colonial and racist documentation of Black West-Indian women.

‘England’s Green’ by Zaffar Kunial

Zaffar Kunial is a proven master of taking things apart, polishing the fugitive parts of single words, of a sound, a colour, the name of a flower, and putting them back together so that we see them in an entirely different light. In the poems of England’s Green, we are invited to look at the place and the language we think we know, and we are made to think again. With everything so newly set, we are alert, as the poet is, to the ‘dark missing / step in a stair’, entering this new world with bated breath.

‘Manorism’ by Yomi Ṣode

In poems exploring family, survival, generational trauma and the complexities of belonging, Manorism is an examination of the lives of Black British men and boys. At the heart of the book is the ongoing pressure of code-switching – changing one’s behaviour and language to suit radically different cultural contexts and environments. The violence of artists such as Caravaggio in seventeenth-century Rome and modern-day commentary by the likes of David Starkey and Piers Morgan provide a lens for considering differences of impunity afforded to white and Black people.

2023 Republic of Consciousness Prize Longlist

The Republic of Consciousness Prize was established by author Neil Griffiths with £2,000 of his own money to celebrate “small presses producing brilliant and brave literary fiction” in the UK and Ireland. Small presses being defined as having fewer than five full-time employees. The first Prize was awarded in 2017 to John Keene’s ‘Counternarratives’ (Fitzcarraldo Editions) and subsequent winners have been Eley Williams’ ‘Attrib. and Other Stories’ (Influx Press) in 2018, Will Eaves for ‘Murmur’ (CB Editions) in 2019, Jean-Baptiste Del Amo took home the prize for ‘Animalia’ in 2020, translated by Frank Wynne (Fitzcarraldo Editions), 201 Jacaranda Books took the main gong for ‘Lote” by Shola von Reinhold and last year Norman Erikson Pasaribu’s ‘Happy Stories, Mostly’, translated by Tiffany Tsao (Tilted Axis Press) won the award.

Earlier this week the longlist for the 2022 Prize was announced. Here are those books (listed alphabetically by publisher as the Prize has chosen to do, with the blurbs directly from the publisher):

John Smith ‘Little Boy’ (Boiler House Press)

‘He began to understand that his present life was not a life at all, but something that had to be endured before a life could commence. It was as though he was before a window, and could see life, but could not touch it. What he needed, he thought, was to be given the opportunity to live. For he would do great things, he thought, when he had the opportunity.’

It is 1935 and a small boy is found in a mine in what is known as the Belgian Congo. It is a time of ferment; nefarious forces are at play. Against this backdrop, the boy’s discovery draws the attention of men of distinction across the globe – scientists, politicians and army men. Soon enough a race begins to bring the boy into safe custody. After a tortuous journey by train through the continent of Africa, the boy travels by ship to New York, where he is taken into the care of the United States Army. From here our diminutive hero will become swept up in a narrative not of his own making, a narrative that will lead him into the heart of one of the most devastating events of the twentieth century.

Yewande Omotoso ‘An Unusual Grief’ (Cassava Republic)

How do you get to know your daughter when she is dead?

This is the question which takes a mother on a journey of self-discovery. When her daughter Yinka dies, Mojisola is finally forced to stop running away from the difficulties in their relationship, and also come to terms with Yinka the woman. Mojisola’s grief leads her on a journey of self-discovery, as she moves into her daughter’s apartment and begins to unearth the life Yinka had built for herself there, away from her family.

Through stepping into Yinka’s shoes, Mojisola comes to a better understanding not only of her estranged daughter, but also herself, as she learns to carve a place for herself in the world beyond the labels of wife and mother. A bold and unflinching tale of one women’s unconventional approach to life and loss.

Missouri Williams ‘The Doloriad’ (Dead Ink)

In the wake of a mysterious environmental cataclysm that has wiped out the rest of humankind, a family descended from incest cling to existence on the edges of a ruined city. The family is mercilessly ruled by The Matriarch who dreams of starting humanity over. Her children and the children they have with one another aren’t so sure. Surrounded by the silent forest and the dead suburbs, they feel closer to the ruined world than to their parents. Nevertheless, they scavenge supplies, collect fuel, plant seeds, and attempt to cultivate the poisoned earth, brutalizing and caring for one another in equal measure.

When The Matriarch dreams of another group of survivors she sends away one of her daughters, the legless Dolores, as a marriage offering. Her return triggers the breakdown of The Matriarch’s fragile order and the control she wields over their sprawling family begins to weaken. The children seize their chance to escape with terrible and lasting consequences.

Fatima Daas ‘The Last One’ (Small Axes, Hope Road)

The youngest daughter of Algerian immigrants, Fatima Daas is raised in a home where love and sexuality are considered taboo and signs of affection avoided. Living in the majority-Muslim Clichy-sous-Bois, she often spends more than three hours a day on public transport to and from the city, where she feels like a tourist observing Parisian manners. She goes from unstable student to maladjusted adult, doing four years of therapy – her longest relationship. But as she gains distance from her family and comes into her own, she grapples more directly with her attraction to women and how it fits with her religion, which she continues to practice. When Nina comes into her life, she doesn’t know exactly what she needs but feels that something crucial has been missing.

Eva Ďurovec ‘New Mindmapping Forms’ (Montez)

There is a story about a meatball which comes out of nowhere, hitting some people’s heads and changing their lives forever. There is a mouse that gets caught while trying to find a cheesy snack. There has been a 100% increase in the cost of rent in Berlin in the past 10 years and no increase in my wages. A bag full of basmati rice. A teacher stuck at work waiting for students stuck at work. There is the price one pays to purchase organic underwear so that their intimate parts are not stifled from nine hours in the office chair. There are 10 missed calls from my mother. There are places to which one cannot return and cities where it is impossible to live. There are fertility treatments that send fish oil straight into the veins two days before and two days after ovulation. The feeling of a needle in the middle of the uterus, which could be due to pregnancy, or due to fear. There is a Master’s thesis which is no Master’s thesis. There is a book that was not intended to be published, that was not intended to be read.

Zoë Wicomb ‘Still Life’ (Peninsula Press)

Still Life juggles with our perception of time and reality as Wicomb tells the story of an author struggling to write a biography of long-forgotten Scottish poet and abolitionist Thomas Pringle. In her efforts to resurrect Pringle, the writer summons the spectre of Mary Prince, the West Indian slave whose History Pringle had once published, along with Hinza, his adopted black South African son.

As these voices vie for control over the text and the lines between life-writing and fiction-making begin to blur, a third voice enters the chorus: Virginia Woolf’s very own Sir Nicholas Green, self-regarding poet and character from Orlando. Their adventures through time and space, from Victorian South Africa and London to the author’s desk in Glasgow in the present day, offer a poignant exploration of colonial history and racial oppression.

Nate Lippens ‘My Dead Book’ (Pilot Press)

My Dead Book is a novel composed of nonlinear vignettes and fragments about a queer man approaching his fiftieth birthday who is haunted by insomnia and his past. In the dead of night, he remembers his friends who died in the late 1980s and 1990s, his years as a teenage throwaway and sex worker, and ruminates on working class survival, queer aging, AIDS, and whether he has outlived his place in the world.

Sheena Patel ‘I’m A Fan’ (Rough Trade Books)

In I’m A Fan a single speaker uses the story of their experience in a seemingly unequal, unfaithful relationship as a prism through which to examine the complicated hold we each have on one another. With a clear and unforgiving eye, the narrator unpicks the behaviour of all involved, herself included, and makes startling connections between the power struggles at the heart of human relationships and those of the wider world, in turn offering a devastating critique of access, social media, patriarchal heteronormative relationships, and our cultural obsession with status and how that status is conveyed.

SJ Fowler ‘MUEUM’ (Tenement Press)

A novella of ludic menace, a puzzle without pieces, SJ Fowler’s MUEUM pictures the amassing and dismantling of a public edifice, brick by brick, in prose that refracts and breaks the light emitted by history’s ornaments and history’s omissions.

Suspended in unknowable time there is a city; in the city, an event, a conflict. Amid the ash, fog and cloud, there is the manufacturing of a space—a many-winged museum on the make. On the plinths, exquisite remnants of life present and past—adorning the walls, portraits of gentle torture sit hand in hand with brutal and statuesque portrayals of camaraderie—and the gift-shop is littered with plastic curios and gilt revulsion.

Goya, as atmosphere rather than artwork, hovers amid iron age ghosts, bronzed ideas, and antiqued anxiety.

Pacing the hall, atrium and corridor, there are those who keep the museum—the various midwives to the building’s demands—and those, like the reader, who merely visit; those who pass through the vacant galleries adrift with questions. What can I touch? What is next to Egypt? What is hidden in Mesopotamia? Where do we eat? Drink? Where is the entrance? The exit?

Following the tradition of the Nestbeschmutzer authors (“one who dirties their own nest,” vis-à-vis Bernhard and Gombrowicz, et al), in Fowler’s curt, spiralling, and acute work, the museum’s keepers will answer.

Thuân ‘Chinatown’ (translated by Nguyên An Ly) (Tilted Axis Press)

The Métro shudders to a halt: an unattended bag has been found. For the narrator, a Vietnamese woman teaching in the Parisian suburbs, a fantastical interior monologue begins, looking back to her childhood in early ‘80s Hanoi, university studies in Leningrad, and the travails and ironies of life in France as an immigrant and single mother.

But most of all she thinks of Chinese-Vietnamese Thụy, who she married in the aftermath of the Sino-Vietnamese war, much to her parents’ disapproval, and whom she has not seen now for eleven years. The mystery around his disappearance feeds her memories, dreams and speculations, in which the idea of Saigon’s Chinatown looms large. There’s even a novel-in-progress, titled I’m Yellow, whose protagonist’s attempts to escape his circumstances mirror the author-narrator’s own.

Interspersed with extracts from I’m Yellow, the narrator’s book-length monologue is an attempt, at once desperate, ironic, and self-deprecating, to come to terms with the passions that haunts her.

This year’s judges are Isabel Waidner, Vanessa Onwuemezi and Lamora Ash. At present to prizemoney is £5,000 for the five shortlisted books (£1,000 for each press), however this may change if a donor gives a further £10,000 as they’ve committed to. I’ve only read ‘Chinatown’ by Thuân, which I thoroughly enjoyed, as always I will be hunting down a few more of the titles on this longlist.

Minor Literature(s) publish more of my “Fragments”

I have been writing an ongoing series of “fragments” for a few years and rarely submit them anywhere for publication, hoping I would complete the sequence of 106 and then submit to a publisher as a full volume.

However, occasionally I see a potential “home” for my work and therefore submit a few pieces.

The wonderful independent publisher, Sublunary Editions, published three fragments (#1 #2 & #5) in their journal of miscellany, “Firmament” and now another US based publisher, Minor Literature(s), has published fragments #9, #11 & #3 at their online journal.

I would like to thank both publishers for their generosity and for looking at, reading and choosing to publish my less than conforming works.

Besides having more work out in the public domain, it motivates me to finish, edit, re-edit and plan the remaining 100 fragments.

I find it amazing that I’m being published alongside the wonderfully innovative writer Louis Armand at Minor Literature(s) and Éric Chevillard and Rilke at Sublunary Editions.

You can read the Minor Literature(s) publication here, and you can purchase the Sublunary Editions ‘Firmament’ issue here.

I really hope you enjoy my writing and comments or feedback is more than welcome on this post, whether I listen to you is a different matter!!!

Photo, Rwetyepme – Mt Sonder – in Northern Territory on Agangu land – taken by Tania Verbeek (used with permission).

Goldsmiths Prize 2022 Shortlist

The Goldsmiths Prize was established in 2013 to reward fiction that “breaks the mould or extends the possibilities of the novel form”. The winning writer receives a £10,000 prize.

Previous winners:

2013 – Eimear McBride for ‘A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing’

2014 – Ali Smith for ‘How to be Both’

2015 – Kevin Barry for ‘Beathebone’

2016 – Mike McCormack for ‘Solar Bones’

2017 – Nicola Barker for ‘H(A)PPY’

2018 – Robin Robertson for ‘The Long Take’

2019 – Lucy Ellmann for ‘Ducks, Newburyport’

2020 – M. John Harrison for ‘The Sunken Land Begins to Rise Again’

2021 – Isabel Waidner for ‘Sterling Karat Gold’

The shortlist for the 2022 Goldsmiths Prize has just been announced. Here are the six books in contention:

‘Somebody Loves You’ by Mona Arshi (And Other Stories)

‘Seven Steeples’ by Sara Baume (Tramp Press)

‘Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies’ by Maddie Mortimer (Picador)

“Peaces’ by Helen Oyeyemi (Faber & Faber)

‘there are more things’ by Yara Rodrigues Fowler (Fleet)

‘Diego Garcia’ by Natasha Soobramanien & Luke Williams (Fitzcarraldo Editions)

The judges for this year’s prize are Dr Tim Parnell (Chair), Natasha Brown, Tom Gatti and Ali Smith and the winner will be announced on 10 November 2022.

Happy reading.