The International Dylan Thomas Prize 2016 longlist has been revealed, including Granta senior editor Max Porter's debut and two books that were shortlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize and
The £30,000 prize, designed to ensure a "Welsh link with the great global phenomenon of contemporary English writing", is now in its 10th year. The prize is open to poetry, drama, novels and short story submissions, and across all genres. Specifically for those aged 39 and under, it is hoped the prize will help "savour the vitality and sparkle of a new generation of young writers".
The 12-strong longlist is composed of four American authors, a Nigerian novelist, Manchester-based poet Andrew McMillan, a debut Irish author in Lisa McInerney, and Welsh short story writer, Thomas Morris.
Granta senior editor Max Porter has made it onto the longlist with his debut Grief is the Thing with Feathers (Faber & Faber) described as "part novella, part polyphonic fable, part essay on grief”.
2015 Man Booker shortlisters The Fishermen (ONE, an imprint of Pushkin Press), a debut novel by Nigerian author Chigozie Obioma, and The Year of the Runaways (Picador) by Derbyshire-born Sunjeev Sahota, also both feature in the Dylan Thomas longlist.
Publishers Jonathan Cape and Picador were each represented twice in the longlist.
The judging panel included award-winning British stage and screen director Phyllida Lloyd; author Kamila Shamsie, whose novel Burnt Shadows (Bloomsbury) was shortlisted for the 2009 Orange Prize for Fiction; Sarah Hall, a winner of the Portico Prize for Fiction and the Edge Hill Short Story Prize; scholar at the University of Texas, Austin, Professor Kurt Heinzelman; and, chair of the panel, Professor Dai Smith, an historian and writer on Welsh arts and culture.
Dai Smith, chair of the judging panel, said: "Wow! The longlist exceeds all expectation in its range of genres and the breathtaking quality of the writing. At this stage the only certainty now is that the Judges will end up with an exceptionally strong short list of six stunningly gifted authors.”
Peter Stead, founder and president of the prize, said: “The International Dylan Thomas Prize was set up to secure a Welsh link with the great global phenomenon of contemporary English writing and from the outset it attracted entries from every continent. We have been delighted to reward such talented writers and to welcome them into our schools and colleges. Now sponsored by Swansea University, the prize is still very much ensuring, as with all our research and instruction, that the standards set are truly international. This is going to be a memorable year and we urge everyone to read these brilliant books.”
The shortlist will be announced in March. The winner will be revealed at a gala ceremony in Swansea University’s Great Hall on International Dylan Thomas Day: 14th May 2016.
The full longlist for the 2016 International Dylan Thomas Prize is:
Claire-Louise Bennett, Pond (Fitzcarraldo Editions)
Garth Risk Hallberg, City on Fire (Jonathan Cape)
Tania James, The Tusk that did the Damage (Harvill Secker [UK]; Alfred A. Knopf [US])
Frances Leviston, Disinformation (Picador)
Lisa McInerney, The Glorious Heresies (John Murray)
Andrew McMillan, Physical (Jonathan Cape)
Thomas Morris, We Don’t Know What We’re Doing (Faber & Faber)
Chigozie Obioma, The Fishermen (ONE, an imprint of Pushkin Press)
Julia Pierpont, Among the Ten Thousand Things (Oneworld)
Max Porter, Grief is the Thing with Feathers (Faber & Faber)
Sunjeev Sahota, The Year of the Runaways (Picador)
Laura van den Berg, Find Me (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)