We're delighted to announce that Benjamin Hale, Hannah Kohler and Helen Oyeyemi have been longlisted for the £30,000 International Dylan Thomas Prize in partnership with Swansea University.
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. One of the most influential, internationally-renowned writers of the mid-twentieth century, the prize invokes his memory to support the writers of today and nurture the talents of tomorrow.
Read extracts from our longlisted collections.
The Outside Lands
Jeannie is nineteen when the world changes, Kip only fourteen. The sudden accident that robs them of their mother leaves them adrift. Jeannie seeks escape in work and later marriage to a man whose social connections propel her into an unfamiliar world of wealth and politics. Meanwhile Kip's descent into a life of petty crime is halted only when he volunteers for the Marines.
The Outside Lands is the story of people caught in the slipstream of history, how we struggle in the face of loss to build our world, and how easily and with sudden violence it can be swept away.
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What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours
The stories collected in What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours are linked by more than the exquisitely winding prose of their creator: Helen Oyeyemi's ensemble cast of characters slip from the pages of their own stories only to surface in another.
The reader is invited into a world of lost libraries and locked gardens, of marshlands where the drowned dead live and a city where all the clocks have stopped; students hone their skills at puppet school, the Homely Wench Society commits a guerrilla book-swap, and lovers exchange books and roses on St Jordi's Day.
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Benjamin Hale's fiction abounds with a love of language and a wild joy for storytelling. Occasionally nightmarish and often absurd, the seven stories in this collection introduce us to a company of indelible characters reeling with love, jealousy, megalomania, and despair.
The voices in these stories speak from the margins. From underground radicals hiding in Morocco to an aging hippie in Colorado in the summer before 9/11 to a young drag queen in New York at the cusp of the AIDS crisis, these stories rove freely across time and place, carried by haunting, peculiar narratives, threads in the vast tapestry of American life.
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This year’s longlist of 12 books comprises of: six novels, four short story collections, and two volumes of poetry. Also on the longlist:
Anuk Arudpragasm - The Story of a Brief Marriage
Alys Conran - Pigeon
Jonathan Safran Foer - Here I Am
Yaa Gyasi - Homegoing
Luke Kennard - Cain
Fiona McFarlane - The High Places
Sarah Perry - The Essex Serpent
Safiya Sinclair - Cannibal
Callan Wink - Dog Run Moon: Stories
Professor John Spurr, Head of the College of Arts and Humanities at Swansea University, said: “This year’s longlist demonstrates the breadth, humanity and promise being produced by young international writers of such incredible talent. Featuring prose and poetry from new and established authors from around the world, it is a longlist to be relished. At this stage, the only certainty now is that the judging panel will end up with an exceptionally strong shortlist of six stunningly gifted authors”.
The shortlist of six books will be revealed at the end of March. The winner will be announced on Wednesday 10 May at Swansea University’s Great Hall, in the run up to International Dylan Thomas Day on 14 May. For more information, click here.