Longlist announced for Gordon Burn Prize 2019

21 May 2019

The 12-strong longlist for the Gordon Burn Prize 2019 is announced today.


Now in its seventh year, the literary prize has become known for identifying some of the boldest and most exciting new fiction and non-fiction published each year. A place on the longlist is recognition of work that stands out in the scale of its endeavour, often challenging readers’ expectations or pushing perceived boundaries of genre, sensibility or even the role of literature itself.


The Gordon Burn Prize was founded in 2012 and is run in partnership by the Gordon Burn Trust, New Writing North, Faber & Faber and Durham Book Festival. The prize seeks to celebrate those who follow in the footsteps of Gordon Burn, whose work includes the novels Fullalove and Born Yesterday: The News as a Novel and non-fiction Happy Like Murderers: The Story of Fred and Rosemary West, Best and Edwards: Football, Fame and Oblivion and Sex & Violence, Death & Silence: Encounters with Recent Art.


In 2018, the prize was won by Jesse Ball, a Chicago-based writer whose novel Census was inspired by the author’s late brother, Abram. Previous winners have included Denise Mina’s true crime novel The Long Drop (2017); David Szalay’s linked collection of short stories, All That Man Is (2016); and In Plain Sight: The Life and Lies of Jimmy Savile by Dan Davies (2015).


The prize is open to works in English published between 1 July 2018 and 1 July 2019, by writers of any nationality or descent who are resident in the United Kingdom, Ireland or the United States of America.


The longlist for the Gordon Burn Prize 2019 is:


Chamber Music: Enter the Wu-Tang Clan (in 36 Pieces), Will Ashon (Granta)

For The Good Times, David Keenan (Faber)

Ghost Wall, Sarah Moss (Granta)

Girl, Woman, Other, Bernardine Evaristo (Hamish Hamilton)

Heads of the Colored People, Naffissa Thompson-Spires (Chatto)

Heart Berries, Terese Marie Mailhot (Bloomsbury)

Lanny, Max Porter (Faber)

Lowborn, Kerry Hudson (Vintage)

Sweet Home, Wendy Erskine (Stinging Fly)

The Silence of the Girls, Pat Barker (Hamish Hamilton)

The Vogue, Eoin McNamee (Faber)

This Brutal House, Niven Govinden (Dialogue)


The judges for the Gordon Burn Prize 2019 are the author AA Dhand, artist Gary Hume, broadcaster and journalist Miranda Sawyer and musician Rachel Unthank. The shortlist will be announced on 17 July and the prize itself will be awarded at Durham Town Hall at the Durham Book Festival, a Durham County Council festival, on Thursday 10 October 2019.


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