The shadow Desmond Elliott winner

The result of the Desmond Elliott Prize will be announced imminently, so it’s time to reveal the shadow jury’s selection. Our shadow shortlist comprised Robert Allison’s The Letter Bearer, Nathan Filer’s The Shock of the Fall, and Eimear McBride’s A Girl is a Half-formed Thing. And after discussing it and reaching a consensus, we came up with our shadow winner… The Shock of the Fall.


Interestingly (and like the shadow IFFP jury) our winner isn’t even on the official shortlist – but without doubt, it’s a book worth reading, and Filer’s a name to follow in the future.

So, to the actual Desmond Elliott Prize – will it go to Robert Allison, Eimear McBride, or D.W. Wilson? We’ll find out on Thursday night. For now, I’d like to thank my fellow shadow jurors Dan, Heather, Kaite, Jackie, and Sarah – it’s been great fun.


  1. I’m three quarters of the way through reading this at the moment in preparation for a reading group discussion next week and I think it is a remarkable book. It does seem to me that you can tell that Filer has written poetry before coming to this novel as it is peppered with sentences that make me stop and simply have to read them again and then quote them to whoever happens to be around.

  2. I thought this was a really good book – a great insight into living with mental illness.

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