Godden, Fagan and Okwonga longlisted for Gordon Burn Prize

Godden, Fagan and Okwonga longlisted for Gordon Burn Prize

Salena Godden, Jenni Fagan and Musa Okwonga have been longlisted for this year's Gordon Burn Prize, alongside nine other writers. 

The £5,000 prize, open to both fiction and non-fiction, is now in its ninth year and recognises "literature that is forward-thinking and fearless in both ambition and execution".

Poet Godden (pictured) is up for her debut novel Mrs Death Misses Death (Canongate). Fagan is listed for her novel Luckenbooth (William Heinemann) about the disturbing misfortunes of the residents of an Edinburgh tenement, alongside Okwonga's In The End it Was All About Love (Rough Trade).

This year's 12-strong longlist also features Doireann Ní Ghríofa's A ​Ghost in the Throat (Tramp Press), Hanif Abdurraqib's A Little Devil in America (Penguin Press), Courttia Newland's A River Called Time (Canongate), Sam Byers' Come Join Our Disease (Faber), Niven Govinden's Diary of a Film (Dialogue), Anthony Quinn's Klopp: My Liverpool Romance (Faber), Gwendoline Riley's My Phantoms (Granta), Caleb Azumah Nelson's Open Water (Viking) and Tabitha Lasley's Sea State (HarperCollins). 

The organisers said: "The works recognised often make the reader think again, playing with style or genre, pushing boundaries or diverging from the mainstream literary culture."

This year's longlist was selected by chair of the judges, author Denise Mina, writer and poet Derek Owusu, novelist and short story writer Irenosen Okojie, and literary journalist and editor Sian Cain. On selecting the longlist, Mina said: "This longlist is made up of an extraordinarily broad span of books, from sports biographies and collections of essays that question the performance of performance, to debut novels from breathtaking talents. This is a wonderful selection and they all challenged and delighted our judging panel, and reflect Gordon Burn's own wide ranging artistic ambitions and interests. It has been a joy to find books we might not have met otherwise."

The prize is open to works in English published between 1st July 2020 and 1st July 2021 by writers of any nationality and run in partnership by the Gordon Burn Trust, New Writing North, Faber & Faber and the Durham Book Festival. The winner will be announced at the Durham Book Festival on Thursday 14th October 2021.

Last year's winner was Peter Pomerantsev for This is Not Propaganda (Faber), his study on the war against reality.