Pat Barker’s re-telling of the Trojan wars The Silence of the Girls (Hamish Hamilton) joins Kerry Hudson’s memoir Lowborn (Chatto) and Max Porter’s mythic tale Lanny (Faber) on the longlist for the Gordon Burn Prize 2019.
Porter’s novel is one of three Faber titles to make the 12-strong longlist: also nominated from the publisher are Eoin McNamee’s The Vogue and David Keenan’s For the Good Times. Barker’s novel sits alongside Hamish Hamilton stablemate Bernardine Evaristo, nominated for her 12-character tale Girl, Woman, Other.
Chatto also has two longlisted titles—Lowborn and short story collection Heads of the Coloured People by Naffissa Thompson-Spires—as does Granta, with hip-hop study Chamber Music: Enter the Wu-Tang Clan (in 36 pieces) by Will Ashon and novel Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss.
Completing the longlist are novel This Brutal House by Niven Govinden (out in June from Dialogue), memoir Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot (Bloomsbury) and debut collection Sweet Home by Wendy Erskine (Stinging Fly).
Judging the prize, which seeks to identify bold and exciting new fiction and non-fiction which “represents the spirit and sensibility” of the late writer Gordon Burn’s work, are author A A Dhand, artist Gary Hume, journalist Miranda Sawyer and musician Rachel Umthank. The shortlist will be announced in July and the winner in October at the Durham Book Festival. The winning writer will receive £5,000 and the chance to undertake a writing retreat of up to three months at Gordon Burn’s cottage in Berwickshire in the Scottish Borders.
Carol Gorner, commenting on behalf of the Gordon Burn Trust, said: “2019 marks 10 years since the death of Gordon Burn. The vitality and variety of the longlist for the prize set up in his name is a reflection of the continuing creativity that the prize encourages and rewards.”