Anneliese Mackintosh’s Any Other Mouth (Freight Books) has won the Green Carnation Prize 2014.
The prize celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender work in any form of the written word. Mackintosh was crowned at an award ceremony held at Foyles Charing Cross Road, the prize’s partner, beating competition from Niven Govinden’s All The Days and Nights (The Friday Project), Kerry Hudson’s Thirst (Chatto & Windus), Kirsty Logan’s The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales (Salt), Laurie Penny’s Unspeakable Things (Bloomsbury), and Invisible Love by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt (Europa Editions).
Chair of the judges for 2014, journalist Kaite Welsh, said: “Choosing a winner out of such an excellent shortlist should have been difficult, but we were all unanimous in loving Any Other Mouth, a raw, uncompromising debut by Annaliese Mackintosh that defies categorization.”
Welsh said Any Other Mouth “isn’t quite a short story collection or a novel and, as she tells us at the very beginning, it’s only almost a memoir”. She added: “It stood out on a first reading for everyone, and we found that every conversation we had kept circling back to it. Grief, sex, family, growing up – there’s no theme here that isn’t universal, but in Annaliese’s hands they seem painfully personal. Rarely does a memoir or a short story collection bring you into the mind of the author quite so intimately. We were all struck by how skillfully Annaliese drew the fragments of her story together – it’s a masterclass in storytelling through non-linear narrative.
Welsh said of the shortlist: “This year's shortlist is an exciting mix of emerging voices and established talent. The diversity of genre and styles on display show what an exciting time it is for queer literature.”
Simon Heafield, marketing manager for Foyles, said: "We're thrilled that Anneliese Mackintosh has won, out of such a strong and diverse shortlist. This is a book that straddles the genres of fiction, memoir and short stories with great aplomb, and its winning the prize provides us with a great chance to put the book into the hands of more customers and help give such a talented writer the readership she clearly deserves."
Foyles will host public events celebrating the prize in Spring 2015.