For me, October means the Goldsmiths Prize. Last year was the first time I’d managed to read the whole shortlist, and it was such an adventure. I was looking forward to this year’s shortlist, and it turns out to be full of books that I want to read:
- Checkout 19 by Claire-Louise Bennett (Jonathan Cape)
- Assembly by Natasha Brown (Hamish Hamilton)
- A Shock by Keith Ridgway (Picador)
- This One Sky Day by Leone Ross (Faber & Faber)
- Sterling Karat Gold by Isabel Waidner (Peninsula Press)
- little scratch by Rebecca Watson (Faber & Faber)
As of this post, I have read two: I loved Keith Ridgway’s previous novel, Hawthorn & Child, so I was always going to read A Shock. It didn’t disappoint, and I’m glad it has been recognised here. I hadn’t got along with Isabel Waidner’s work previously, but I anticipated that Sterling Karat Gold might make this prize and/or the Republic of Consciousness. So I decided to get ahead, and I really enjoyed it.
Of the other four nominees, the only author I’ve read is Leone Ross. Her short story ‘The Woman Who Lived in a Restaurant’ left a deep impression on me, so I’m looking forward to reading a full-length novel of hers. I know Claire-Louise Bennett’s name from the reputation of her previous book Pond. Assembly and little scratch are debut works that I’ve heard very good things about. It’s all looking positive to me.
As always, I will link to my reviews of the books in the list above as I post them.
10th October 2021 at 7:18 pm
That does sound like a good selection, David. I’ll come back to read your other reviews and see which ones to try. I also loved Hawthorn and Child, so A Shock is going straight on my TBR list!