Jacobson, Smith and Kingsnorth on Goldsmiths shortlist

Jacobson, Smith and Kingsnorth on Goldsmiths shortlist

Man Booker-shortlisted novels by Howard Jacobson and Ali Smith appear on the 2014 shortlist for the Goldsmiths Prize.

The line-up also includes a crowd-funded novel by Paul Kingsnorth, The Wake (pictured), which was longlisted for the Man Booker.

Jacobson’s J (Jonathan Cape), Smith’s How to be Both (Penguin) and Kingsnorth’s The Wake (Unbound) are joined on the shortlist by Rachel Cusk’s Outline (Faber & Faber), In the Light of What We Know by Zia Haider Rahman (Picador) and Will Eaves’ The Absent Therapist (CB Editions).

The prize, which is now in its second year, was created to celebrate “all that is bold and inventive in fiction” and is supported by the New Statesman.

Chair of the judges, author Francis Spufford, said: “The Goldsmiths Prize rewards innovation in the form of the novel. We expected to be surprised, and we were; we expected to compare wildly dissimilar successes, and we did. We expected to argue, and we weren’t disappointed. Yet we’re delighted to have ended up with a shortlist that captures so much of the versatility with which the novel, these days, is being stretched, knotted, rejigged, re-invented.”

Tom Gatti, culture editor of the New Statesman, added: “From Joyce and Woolf to Burroughs and Lessing to Will Self and Ali Smith, the New Statesman has always been a home for innovative prose. So we are delighted to continue our partnership with the Goldsmiths Prize and reward those novelists bold enough to forge new paths for the form.”

Joining Spufford and Gatti on the judging panel are authors Geoff Dyer and Kirsty Gunn.
The winner of the £10,000 prize will be announced on 12th November.

Eimear McBride took last year's prize for A Girl is a Half-formed Thing (Galley Beggars Press), which also won the 2014 Desmond Elliot Prize and the 2014 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction.