Books by Granta's Max Porter, Sunjeev Sahota and Andrew McMillan have been shortlisted for the £30,000 International Dylan Thomas Prize, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.
The shortlist contains a “vibrant mix” of poetry and prose, featuring two works of poetry: Disinformation (Picador) by Frances Leviston, and Physical (Jonathan Cape) by McMillan; a novella, Porter’s Grief is the Thing with Feathers (Faber); a book of short stories, Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett (Fitzcarraldo Editions); and two novels, Sahota’s The Year of the Runaways (Picador) and The Tusk that Did the Damage (Harvill Secker) by Tania James.
The judging panel consists of director, Phyllida Lloyd, novelist and poet Owen Sheers, authors Kamila Shamsie and Sarah Hall, poet and translator Kurt Heinzelman, and historian Dai Smith.
Smith said: “After two and a half hours of close and vibrant discussion, the judges had the unenviable task of selecting six works to go on to the shortlist from an exceptionally strong field. It goes without saying, therefore, that the final choice, unanimously agreed, shows an astounding array of form, genre and achievement from such young writers. The shortlist for the 2016 International Dylan Thomas Prize, in partnership with Swansea University, is eye-catching, eclectic and totally energising. The ultimate winner of the 2016 Prize will be truly exceptional as a result.”
Hall said: “This is a really exciting and unusually varied shortlist. The books featured have perhaps only one thing in common - literary ambition and the breathtakingly successful execution of their visions, but otherwise they resist categorisation. Structurally, narratively, and linguistically they innovate, breaking down boundaries, reaching the reader in new and unexpected ways. There is such a wide range of perspectives, playfulness, intellect, strange and deadly serious content, and a depth of humanity that it is hard to know where to begin in describing each. One thing is clear, these six writers are phenomenally talented, and absolutely worthy of a place on a prize list bearing the name and spirit of Dylan Thomas.”
The shortlisted authors will be appearing at the Southbank Centre on Thursday 12th May in a special event celebrating the prize’s tenth anniversary.
The winner will be announced at a gala ceremony in Swansea University’s Great Hall on its stunning new Bay Campus, on International Dylan Thomas Day, 14th May 2016.
The £30,000 award was created to honour the work of Welsh poet and playwright Dylan Thomas and is open to any writer of novels, poetry and drama aged 39 (the age Thomas was when he died) and under.