Today, the Authors’ Club announces the shortlist for the annual Best First Novel Award. The shortlisted books are as follows:
XAN BROOKS, The Clocks in the House All Tell Different Times (Salt) The judges commented: A wildly vivid and imaginative tale, bringing together damaged war-veterans, canny teenagers and gilded gentry.
RICK GEKOSKI, Darke (Canongate) The judges commented: James Darke’s brutally frank, funny, tortured journal grippingly explores the depths of grief and the road to redemption.
GAIL HONEYMAN, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (Harper Collins) The judges commented: Eleanor is a dazzlingly unique creation, whose history is tantalisingly revealed as she finds her way back to exuberant life.
WINNIE M. LI, Dark Chapter (Legend Press) The judges commented: This is a courageous story from an impressive writer. The writing is confident, fluent and direct, with terrific narrative pace.
JOHN MCGHIE, White Highlands (Little Brown) The judges commented: An outstanding evocation of colonial imperialism in Kenya and its aftermath. Full of high drama, raw emotion and great descriptive power.
HARRIET PAIGE, Man With A Seagull On His Head (Bluemoose Books) The judges commented: A sparkling and original debut illustrating, with deadpan wit and elegance, the fickle nature of fame.
Lucy Popescu (chair of the judging panel) commented: “This has been a bumper year for strong debuts exploring a range of themes. We have enjoyed many passionate discussions and are delighted to highlight such extraordinary talent. We are fortunate to have AL Kennedy to decide the overall winner.”
Shortlisted authors event at Waterstones Gower Street: Thursday 7 June
The winner will be announced by AL Kennedy, this year’s guest adjudicator, at a dinner at the National Liberal Club: Friday 22 June