The Dylan Thomas Prize is awarded every year to a book by an author aged under 30. The work of young writers is one of my particular areas of interest, so I thought I’d take a look at the 2012 longlist, which was announced this morning:
Tom Benn, The Doll Princess
A crime novel set in Manchester in the aftermath of 1996’s IRA bombing, with a narrator involved in the city’s gangs.
Ben Brooks, Grow Up
A portrait of 21st-century adolescence, by an author who was 19 at the time of publication.
Matthew Crow, My Dearest Jonah
The correspondence between two pen-pals on the fringes of society, who find the stability of their lives under threat.
Andrea Eames, The White Shadow
A tale of siblings living in 1960s Zimbabwe, mixing folklore with a background of guerrilla war.
Amelia Gray, Threats
The protagonist loses his wife in mysterious circumstances, then discovers around the house pieces of paper bearing threats – can he rely on his own mind?
Chibundu Onuzo, The Spider King’s Daughter
‘A modern-day Romeo and Juliet’ set in Lagos, chronicling the romance between a wealthy girl and a boy from the slums.
Maggie Shipstead, Seating Arrangements
A wealthy New England family threatens to come apart at a wedding celebration.
Alexandra Singer, Tea at the Grand Tazi
A historian’s assistant gets lost in a world of vice whilst working in Morocco.
D.W. Wilson, Once You Break a Knuckle
A collection from the winner of last year’s BBC Short Story Award. I loved his winning story back then.
Lucy Wood, Diving Belles
In case you haven’t heard me mention it before, this is one of my favourite books of the year so far. Wonderful to see it on the longlist.
I think that’s a nicely broad selection. The Eames, Gray, Onuzo, and Wilson are the ones I most want to read personally, but good luck to all.