Female writers and first-time authors dominate the longlist for the 2019 Swansea University International Dylan Thomas Prize, worth £30,000. Eight of the 12-strong list are women, of whom three are debut novelists and one is a debut poet.
The list includes two well-known names: Costa Novel award winner Sally Rooney is longlisted for the second time, for her second novel Normal People (Faber), and Sarah Perry, whose The Essex Serpent was Waterstones Book of the Year in 2016, joins her with Melmoth (Serpent’s Tail).
In addition, the list comprises short story writer Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah's debut Friday Black (Riverrun); Michael Donkor's Hold (4th Estate); Clare Fisher's How the Light Gets In (Influx Press); Zoe Gilbert's Folk (Bloomsbury); Emma Glass' debut Peach (Bloomsbury); Man Booker longlisted Guy Gunaratne's debut In Our Mad and Furious City (Tinder Press, Headline); Louisa Hall's Trinity (Ecco); Richard Scott's poetry collection Soho (Faber & Faber); Novuyo Rosa Tshuma's House of Stone (Atlantic Books); and Jenny Xie's Eye Level (Graywolf Press).
Chair of the judging panel Professor Dai Smith of Swansea University said: “The longlist of 12 for the 2019 Swansea University Dylan Thomas International Prize is a starburst of young literary talent. Writers from across the world, from diverse communities and backgrounds, tackle challenging subject matter in ways both unexpected and exhilarating, through short stories, novels or poetry, in folk tale or Gothic mode, with a contemporary scalpel or an historical viewfinder. The list is a treat!”
Alongside Smith, the judges are Professor Kurt Heinzelman, BBC broadcaster Di Spiers and novelist Kit de Waal.
A shortlist of six will be revealed in April with the winner announced on 16th May.