Saturday, November 10, 2012

Guardian First Book Award Nominees Announced

Earlier this week, The Guardian announced the shortlist for its 2012 First Book Award. There are three fiction titles and two non-fiction; as well, 3 American authors made the list: Kevin Powers for The Yellow Birds, Katherine Boo for Behind The Beautiful Forevers and Chad Harbach's The Art of Fielding, a personal favourite of mine (it's in my top ten!). I am rooting for Harbach, obviously, but a book about baseball and Moby-Dick may not have the same impact in the British Isles. We shall see.

Rounding out the list are Scottish writer Kerry Hudson with Tony Hogan Bought Me An Ice Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma, and Lindsey Hilsum's "non-fiction account of the Libyan revolution," Sandstorm.
"It's a very strong list this year," said Allardice, who is joined on the judging panel by authors Ahdaf Soueif, Kate Summerscale, William Dalrymple and Jeanette Winterson, and Guardian deputy editor, Katharine Viner. "We've got a fictional account of the war in Iraq, and a fictional account of growing up in poverty in the UK, alongside non-fictional accounts of growing up in a Mumbai slum, and the conflict in Libya. It's very interesting to see the different ways writers choose to approach their material. The Mumbai book reads almost like a novel, Boo is so deeply embedded in her environment, while Kevin Powers has chosen to fictionalise his obviously first-hand and deeply personal experience of serving in Iraq. It's a very raw book in subject matter and in some places in style, but the powerful authenticity of such a harrowing experience really comes across."
The winner will be announced on November 29th.

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