Jonathan Cape's Man Booker Prize-longlisted titles All That Man Is by David Szalay and Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh have been shortlisted for the 2016 Gordon Burn Prize, alongside two titles from Faber and one each from Scribe and Canongate.
All That Man Is, a "piercing" portrayal of 21st century manhood by Canadian author Szalay, and Eileen, the story of an unhappy young woman named Eileen by American author Moshfegh, were both named as part of the Booker 'dozen' last month. Eileen has already won the 2016 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award.
The two titles shortlisted from Faber for the prize are And the Sun Shines Now, a book about how football has changed since The Hillsborough Disaster and the "real cost" of the new game to society by Adrian Tempany, and Anatomy of a Soldier, a novel about one man’s journey of survival and the experiences of those around him, by Harry Parker.
Also shortlisted are A Woman on the Edge of Time: A Son’s Search for his Mother, a "searching" memoir of his mother by Jeremy Gavron (Scribe), and The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone by Olivia Laing (Canongate), an "electric, dazzling" investigation into what it means to be alone.
The judges of the 2016 prize are the novelists Jenn Ashworth and William Boyd, journalist and writer Rachel Cooke, and the artist and author Harland Miller.
Ashworth said: “It’s been an honour and a fascinating privilege to be involved in reading and discussing such a varied and accomplished selection of books for this year’s prize. I admire Gordon Burn’s work for its uncompromising precision, its fearlessness and its humanity. On the shortlist we have fine examples of writers working across a number of genres and in both fiction and non-fiction who we believe are working with that same commitment to truth-telling and have created works which explore who and why we are, without sentiment or cynicism.”
Boyd praised the "wonderfully rich and eclectic shortlist", saying that "every book is a genuine contender".
The Gordon Burn Prize was launched in 2012 to remember the late Faber author who wrote across a wide range of subjects, from celebrity to serial killers and politics to contemporary art. Burn's work was "precise and rigorous", and often "blurred the line between fact and fiction". The Gordon Burn Prize, run in partnership by the Gordon Burn Trust, New Writing North, Faber & Faber and Durham Book Festival, seeks to celebrate the writing of those whose work follows in his footsteps.
The winner of the Gordon Burn Prize 2016 will be announced on Friday 7th October at the opening of Durham Book Festival, a Durham County Council festival produced by New Writing North. The winning writer will receive a cheque for £5,000 and the opportunity to undertake a writing retreat of up to three months at Gordon Burn’s cottage in the Scottish borders.
Previous winners of the prize are novelists Benjamin Myers for Pig Iron (Bluemoose), Paul Kingsnorth for The Wake (Unbound) and journalist Dan Davies for In Plain Sight: The Life and Lies of Jimmy Savile (Quercus).