Melissa Harrison, Michael Hughes and Benjamin Wood have been shortlisted for the UK nominations for the European Union Prize for Literature 2019 (EUPL).
Harrison is featured for All Among the Barley (Bloomsbury), described by judges as “a brilliant and timely novel” based in rural England between the wars. It is vying against Hughes for Country (John Murray), set in Northern Ireland in 1996, exploring what the 25 years of conflict have been for. Meanwhile Wood’s A Station on the Path to Somewhere Better (Simon & Schuster) was called a “blistering novel of relationships”, following a father-and-son road trip in 1995.
The UK jury for the EUPL featured The Bookseller’s editor Philip Jones along with former bookseller Sheila O’Reilly, founder and c.e.o. of New Writing North Claire Malcolm, director of Nottingham UNESCO City of literature Sandeep Mahal and Toby Lichtig, fiction and politics editor of the TLS.
The prize aims to showcase the spotlight on the creativity and diverse wealth of Europe’s contemporary literature in the field of fiction, to promote the circulation of literature within Europe and to encourage greater interest in non-national literary works. It helps the works of the selected winners - with one per country participating in the Prize on a rotation basis – to reach a wider, international audience.
Financed by the Creative Europe programme of the European Commission and open to 36 countries, it is coordinated by the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF), the European Writers' Council (EWC) and the Federation of European Publishers (FEP).
Each year, national juries in a third of the participating countries nominate their winning authors, making it possible for all countries and language areas to be represented over a three-year cycle. The winner of the UK nomination will be announced on May 22nd with the winner taking €5,000 (£4,308) prize, as part of 12 winners overall.