Hilary Mantel, Martin Amis and Dan Davies have made the 13-strong longlist for the Gordon Burn Prize 2015, which "champions a fresh, fearless approach to writing".
Mantel is longlisted for her collection of short stories, The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher: Stories (Fourth Estate), while Amis is longlisted for his novel set in a Nazi concentration camp, The Zone of Interest (Vintage). Dan Davies has made the list for his debut In Plain Sight: The Life and Lies of Jimmy Savile (Quercus), which is also currently shortlisted for this year’s Orwell Prize for political writing.
The other books on the longlist include three non-fiction titles from Faber - Mad Men and Bad Men: What Happened when British Politics met Advertising by Sam Delaney, Original Rockers by Richard King and Nothing is True and Everything is Possible by Peter Pomerantsev – and three books from Granta, Sarah Thornton’s non-fiction 33 Artists in 3 Acts and novels Noon Tide Toll by Romesh Guneskera and 10.04 by Ben Lerner.
Also longlisted are Paul Ewen's novel about the Man Booker Prize and what it means to be an author, Francis Plug: How To Be A Public Author (Galley Beggar Press), and Midland by Honor Gavin (Penned in the Margins), a novel about three young women trying to find their feet in the 20th century.
The longlist is rounded out by Scott McCloud’s graphic novel The Sculptor (Self Made Hero) and Simon Rich’s collection of short stories, Spoiled Brats (Serpent’s Tail). The longlist was selected from 136 books submitted by UK and US publishers.
Claire Malcolm, chief executive of New Writing North, said: “From graphic novels and stunning short story collections to penetrating non-fiction and a number of books that test the borders of these definitions, the 2015 longlist is an exciting list. The selected books highlight many areas of interest that Gordon’s work covered from crime and art to history and are all explored in unique and compelling ways”.
Angus Cargill, editorial director at Faber & Faber, added: “The longlist is such a great showcase for the prize, set up in memory of Gordon [pictured above]. Sharing the fearlessness, integrity and cross genre styles and interests of Gordon's work, it includes books and writers drawing on the past while interrogating the present. It's a fascinating list and we can't wait to see what the judges do next.”
The Gordon Burn Prize was launched in 2012 by New Writing North, the Gordon Burn Trust and Burn’s publisher Faber & Faber to find writing that embodies the spirit and sensibility of the author's “bold and innovative literary methods” in both fiction and non-fiction. This year’s judges are: author Roddy Doyle; actress Maxine Peake; journalist Suzanne Moore; artist Gavin Turk; and author Doug Johnstone.
Previous winners of the award include Benjamin Myers for Pig Iron in 2013 (Bluemoose Books) and Paul Kingsnorth for The Wake (Unbound) in 2014.
The winner of the Gordon Burn Prize 2015 will receive a cheque for £5,000, plus the option of a three-month writing retreat in Gordon Burn’s cottage in the Scottish Borders. The winner will be announced on 9th October at Durham Book Festival.