Shortlist for the prestigious Dylan Thomas Prize announced
Swansea University has announced the shortlist for the prestigious literary award for young writers, the Dylan Thomas Prize.
Revealing the shortlist, organisers say that it features a collection of international writers who are offering platforms for under-represented voices.
Comprising four novels, one poetry collection, and one short story collection, the shortlist also includes three debuts.
Auguries of a Minor God by Indian-born Nidhi Zak/ Aria Eipe is a debut poetry collection which follows two different journeys. The first explores love and the wounds it makes while the second follows a family of refugees who have fled to the West from conflict in an unspecified Middle Eastern country.
A contemporary classic by Nathan Harris called The Sweetness of Water fuses together historical fiction with the complex reality of today’s society
In Open Water, which has been described as ‘achingly beautiful’ and has now sold in 13 territories worldwide, British-Ghanaian writer Caleb Azumah Nelson shines a light on race and masculinity.
Other contenders for the £20,000 prize are American novelist and international bestseller Patricia Lockwood for No One is Talking About This. Described as a meditation on love, language and human connection the novel has also been shortlisted for The Booker Prize.
Another Booker prize nominee is Sri Lankan writer Anuk Arudpragasam whose novel A Passage North, explores age and youth, as well as loss and survival in the wake of Sri Lanka’s 30-year civil war.
Brandon Taylor’s Filthy Animals is said to bring together quietly devastating stories of young people caught up in violence and desire, while longing for intimacy.
Riveting and compelling
The Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize was launched in 2006 and is one of the UK’s most prestigious literary prizes as well as the world’s largest literary prize for young writers.
Awarded for the best published literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under, the Prize celebrates the international world of fiction in all its forms including poetry, novels, short stories and drama.
Selecting the six-strong shortlist was the judging panel, chaired by co-founder and co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival and award-winning author Namita Gokhale.
The panel is made up of Welsh novelist, playwright, and winner of the 2006 Dylan Thomas Prize Rachel Trezise; poet and novelist Luke Kennard, winner of the 2021 Forward poetry prize; novelist and Swansea University lecturer Alan Bilton; and Nigerian-British author Irenosen Okojie who was awarded an MBE For Services to Literature in 2021.
Namita Gokhale, Chair of Judges, said: “The longlist for the 2022 Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize was one of the strongest ever. The jury has whittled this down to a shortlist that is riveting and compelling on so many levels. It presents a rich diversity of accomplished young and debut voices, and their explorations of the poetic, the historical, and the contemporary.”
The Winner’s Ceremony will be held in Swansea on 12 May, two days before International Dylan Thomas Day.
- A Passage North – Anuk Arudpragasam (Sri Lankan, fiction novel)
- Auguries of a Minor God – Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe (Indian, poetry debut)
- The Sweetness of Water – Nathan Harris (American, debut novel)
- No One is Talking About This – Patricia Lockwood (American, novel)
- Open Water – Caleb Azumah Nelson (British-Ghanaian, debut novel)
- Filthy Animals – Brandon Taylor (American, collection of short stories)
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