Sally Rooney, the 2017 Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year, has been longlisted for this year's £30,000 Dylan Thomas Prize alongside others including Bailey's Prize shortlistees Gwendoline Riley and Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀.
Awarded for the best published literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under, the prize is named after the Swansea-born writer, Dylan Thomas, and celebrates his 39 years of creativity and productivity.
This year’s longlist of 12 books comprises: eight novels, two short story collections, and two volumes of poetry.
Rooney is longlisted for her debut novel Conversations with Friends (Faber), which follows two best friends and their relationship with an older married couple and is shortlisted for The British Book Awards' Debut Book of the Year. Riley's First Love (Granta), about a disintegrating relationship, and Adébáyọ̀'s Stay with Me (Canongate), about a Nigerian couple's yearning to have children - both shortlistees of the 2017 Bailey's Prize for Fiction - have also made the longlist.
Indie presses have a strong presence on the list with titles from Influx Press, Carcanet, Atlantic and US publisher Graywolf up for the prize. From Influx Press is Attrib. and Other Stories, a short story collection by Eley Williams; from Carcanet, a volume of poetry by James Womack entitled On Trust: A Book of Lies; from Atlantic, Meena Kandasamy's When I Hit You, a novel about an abusive marriage; and from Graywolf, a blend of horror, science fiction and fairytale in short story collection Her Body and Other Parties, by Carmen Maria Machado.
Rounding out the poetry collections longlisted for the prize is Kayo Chingonyi's Kumukanda (Vintage - Chatto & Windus), a debut poetry collection exploring race, identity and masculinity.
Also in contention for the prize are Lisa McInerney's The Blood Miracles (John Murray), Fiona Mozley's Booker Prize shortlisted debut Elmet (JM Originals), Emily Ruskovich's Idaho (Vintage - Chatto & Windus), and Gabriel Tallent's My Absolute Darling (Fourth Estate).
Last year, Fiona McFarlane won the International Dylan Thomas Prize for her "unforgettable" collection of short stories The High Places.
Chaired by Professor Dai Smith CBE, Emeritus Raymond Williams Research Chair in the Cultural History of Wales at Swansea University, and historian and writer on Welsh arts and culture, this year’s judging panel also features poet, translator, and scholar, Professor Kurt Heinzelman; novelist and playwright Rachel Trezise, playwright and author Paul McVeigh, and writer, publisher and festival director, Namita Gokhale.
Smith described the longlist as "intriguing" and "scarily good".
“This year’s longlist demonstrates the originality and literary excellence of work being produced by young writers from around the world", he said. "Featuring prose and poetry from new and established authors, this is an intriguing and scarily good longlist! The judges now have a very difficult job, but we can be certain that we will have an exceptionally strong shortlist of six stunningly gifted authors."
The shortlist of six books will be revealed at the end of March, and the winner will be announced on Thursday 10th May 2018 at Swansea University’s Great Hall, in the run up to International Dylan Thomas Day on 14th May.
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