Indie publishers dominate Gordon Burn Prize shortlist

Indie publishers dominate Gordon Burn Prize shortlist

A book about Jimmy Savile is among the titles on the shortlist for the Gordon Burn Prize 2015, which is dominated by books published by independent publishers.

The prize, founded in 2012, champions a fresh, undaunted approach to writing.

Four of the five titles are published by independents.

Midland by Honor Gavin (Penned in the Margins), is about three young women who fight to find their feet in the 20th century, providing a narrative about one Midlands family.

Noontide Toll by Romesh Gunesekera (Granta Books), follows a van driver who ferries aid works, returning exiles and tentative entrepreneurs across the battle-scarred landscapes of Sri Lanka after he civil war.

Original Rockers by Richard King (Faber & Faber) recalls the “debauched glory days” of an independent record shop.

Nothing is True and Everything is Possible by Peter Pomerantsev (Faber & Faber) is follows the authors as he arrives in Russia, and finds himself sucked into Putin’s post-modern dictatorship.

The fifth book is In Plain Sight: The Life and Lies of Jimmy Savile by Dan Davies, published by Hodder & Stoughton-owned Quercus.

The judges of the 2015 prize are actress Maxine Peake, authors Doug Johnstone and Roddy Doyle, journalist Suzanne Moore and artist Gavin Turk.

The Gordon Burn Prize is run in partnership by the Gordon Burn Trust, New Writing North and Faber & Faber.

Claire Malcolm, chief executive of New Writing North, said: "We were delighted with the quality of this year’s Gordon Burn Prize submissions and our judges had their work cut out for them deciding on the five titles to make the shortlist.

“The nature of this prize means that the selected books are all very different – each bold and fresh in their own approach – but they all give a sense that their writers are entrenched in the world they are writing about, and reflecting it back to the reader in a clear- sighted, even ferocious, way. It makes me very optimistic about the state of British publishing that such fantastic writing is being published. I hope the prize helps to raise awareness of these titles, as they deserve to be widely read.”

The winner will be announced on 9th October at Durham Book Festival, a Durham County Council festival produced by New Writing North.