Irish publishers Tramp Press and New Island are among the small presses that have been longlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize.
The prize was launched earlier this year by author Neil Griffiths (pictured) and seeks to find the "best novel published by a small press". Discussing the judging criteria, Griffiths said: "We weren’t just looking for great novels but ‘hardcore literary fiction and gorgeous prose'."
New Island Press was longlisted for Beautiful Pictures of a Lost Homeland, “a long polyphonic novel" by Mia Gallagher, while Tramp Press was nominated for the “beautifully written” Solar Bones by Mike McCormack.
Martin John, a "a darkly comic novel" by Anakana Schofield (And Other Stories), has also made the longlist. Griffiths said of the novel: “Martin John struggles with an impulse towards public sexual exposure, and we are witness to his life in a novel of formal ingenuity that embraces poetry, plainchant, monologue, memory and dream. Anakana Schofield is a novelist of very rare gifts and this is a singular achievement.” Born on a Tuesday by Elnathan John (Cassava Republic) is also in the running for the prize, with Griffiths calling it “the most involving and moving work of fiction about West African political and religious life I’ve read in a long time.” Also longlisted is Dodge and Burn by Seraphina Madsen (Dodo Ink), described by Griffiths as “superficially - On The Road for the rave generation”.
Short story collections are well represented on the longlist with Fine, Fine, Fine, Fine, Fine by Diane Williams (CB Editions), Light Box by KJ Orr (Daunt Books), Treats by Lara Williams (Freight), Glue Ponys by Chris Wilson (Tangerine Press), and Counternarratives by John Keene (Fitzcarraldo Editions) all nominated for the prize.
Sally O’Reilly’s Crude (EROS), a satire and comic novel about art and art criticism and that is “laugh out loud funny” has also made the longlist alongside Quiet Flows the Una by Faruk Šehić (Istros Books), a "hypnotic meditation on grief, shame and conflict by a veteran of the Bosnian war”, and Forbidden Line by Paul Stanbridge (Galley Beggar Press), a retelling of Don Quixote combined with a recreation of the Peasant’s Revolt.
Rounding out the longlist are The Storyteller, “a strong and uncompromising first novel” by Kate Armstrong (Holland House), The Marvellous Equations of the Dread, a magical realist journey through the history of Rastafarianism, Bob Marley & Jamaica by Marcia Douglas (Peepal Tree Press), and The Empress and the Cake, a "clever, thriller-cum-horror story of three women and their descent into addiction, crime and madness" by Linda Stift (Peirene Press).
The shortlist for the prize will be revealed on 12th January and the winner will be announced on 9th March 2017.
Funds for the prize money will be raised via a raffle which will see pledges entered into a draw to win subscriptions and bundles of books from small presses. Pledges can be made here.
The full longlist is below:
Martin John by Anakana Schofield (And Other Stories)
Born on A Tuesday by Elnathan John (Cassava Republic)
Fine, Fine, Fine, Fine, Fine by Diane Williams (CB Editions)
Light Box by KJ Orr (Daunt Books)
Dodge and Burn by Seraphina Madsen (Dodo Ink)
Crude by Sally O’Reilly (EROS)
Counternarratives by John Keene (Fitzcarraldo Editions)
Quiet Flows the Una by Faruk Šehić (Istros)
Treats by Lara Williams (Freight)
Forbidden Line by Paul Stanbridge (Galley Beggar)
The Storyteller by Kate Armstrong (Holland House)
Beautiful Pictures of a Lost Homeland by Mia Gallagher (New Island)
The Marvellous Equations of the Dread by Marcia Douglas (Peepal Tree Press)
The Empress and the Cake by Linda Stift (Peirene Press)
Glue Ponys by Chris Wilson (Tangerine Press)
Solar Bones by Mike McCormack (Tramp Press)
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