Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Guardian First Book Award 2013 - Longlist

Last Friday The Guardian announced the longlist for their 2013 First Book Award. It is unique in that it includes fiction and non-fiction as well as a 'readers' choice' nomination. The winner of the £10,000 prize will be announced in November.
(All book precis from
We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo (Chatto & Windus)
This is a visceral, lyrically told story of displacement that moves from a Zimbabwean ghetto – grimly named
Paradise – to the US. In her narrator, Darling, Bulawayo has captured a fresh, authentic young voice.
The Hive by Gill Hornby (Little, Brown)
Which mum will be queen bee? A comedy with sting about playground politics that also offers witty insights into class, child-rearing and female friendship.

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (Picador)
Dripping with atmosphere and bad weather, this historical novel about the last woman to be executed in Iceland is based on a true story that haunted its Australian author for years.

Kiss Me First by Lottie Moggach (Picador)
An exploration of identity and the risks of social media via the story of Leila, a computer games addict who agrees to pose as vivacious, bipolar Tess. An unnerving thriller for the Facebook generation

The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan (Doubleday Ireland)
Twenty-one different narrators build up a portrait of a contemporary Irish village struggling in the aftermath of the financial crash in this slim but devastating novel

10 Billion by Stephen Emmott (Penguin)
What will be the consequences of unchecked human expansion? A scientist’s brief, brutal and unignorable manifesto against complacency in the face of inexorable population growth and climate change

Sex and the Citadel by Shereen El Feki (Chatto & Windus)
The hidden sexual politics of the Arab world via interviews, statistics, opinion polls and personal reminiscences. A personal and humorous account by an award-winning Cairo-based journalist.

The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves by Stephen Grosz (Chatto & Windus)
The drama of ordinary lives told through 31 remarkable psychoanalytic case studies. A moving and mesmerising insight into the therapeutic process.

Money: The Unauthorised Biography by Felix Martin (Bodley Head)
From the huge stones used as currency on the Pacific
island of Yap to the banking crisis of today – a fresh, lively study into what money actually is.

The Society of Timid Souls by Polly Morland (Profile Books)
A study of bravery in the face of stage fright, the bullring and the battlefield. A spirit-boosting companion in our age of anxiety.

The readers' choice

The Shipwrecked House by Claire TrĂ©vien (Penned in the Margins)
This 'playful and surreal' small-press poetry collection, influenced by the sea and the poet’s Breton childhood, was the readers’ nomination for this year.

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