The Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize 2014 Winners Announced

And hoorah, I have been sat on this list (not literally) of the eight now announced winners of this year’s Fiction Uncovered which, unless you have been on Mars or on some fancy pants trip round the word, you will know is one of my favourite bookish endeavours there are. Each year Fiction Uncovered aims to find eight titles that have missed out on prizes or gone under the radar unjustly and this is their selection this year.

photo (6)

Lolito – Ben Brooks (Canongate)
Mr Loverman – Bernardine Evaristo (Hamish Hamilton)
Little Egypt – Lesley Glaister (Salt)
The Dig – Cynan Jones (Granta)
Whatever Happened to Billy Parks? – Gareth R Roberts (The Friday Project)
Mrs. Hemingway – Naomi Wood (Picador)
Vanishing – Gerard Woodward (Picador)
All the Birds, Singing – Evie Wyld (Vintage)

Now I love this list this year for four reasons (there may be more by now) which are…

Firstly, I have read some of them and the books that I had already read when the list arrived* are bloody marvellous. Both Mr Loverman and All The Birds, Singing were two of my favourite books that I read in 2013. Evaristo’s tale of Barry Walker is one of the most funny, heart breaking but overall heart warming books I have read in some time, Wyld’s is one of the most mysterious, sinister and fascinating. So far Mrs. Hemingway is easily one of the best books I have read this year, even my ‘occasionally hard to please’ mother has phoned me raving about it – it is that good, and draws a fascinating portrait of Ernest Hemingway from the lives of the four main women in his life. The fact I loved these three so much has given me real high hopes for the other five.

Secondly, there are authors that I have heard whispers about (good ones) and have been meaning to read, which is part of the idea behind Fiction Uncovered after all. Gerard Woodward and Cynan Jones being these two said authors. I have heard much praise of The Dig and checked Everything I Found on the Beach out from the library a month or so ago. I have also been meaning to read Woodward’s Nourishment for ages and ages as have been told by sooooooo many people I will love it.

Thirdly, and most importantly, there are some authors and their novels which I have never heard anything about before this list. Having now looked them up they sound like corkers. Lolito is a love story about a fifteen year-old boy who meets a middle-aged woman on the internet. Intriguing, if controversial. Little Egypt is a tale of elderly, Egypt-mad twins Isis and Osiris who find their neglected English lives disturbed to catastrophic effect by the arrival of American Anarchist. Sounds amazing! Whatever Happened to Billy Parks? is about football. Hmmm football, apt timing but I am not renowned for my love of football it has to be said, but this leads to…

…Fourthly, and just as importantly, this list will get me reading out my comfort zone both in the themes of some of the books but also from the comfort authors I sometimes turn to. Ace! Lots of reasons to be very cheerful with the latest eight titles. Now to get reading!

So what do you make of the Fiction Uncovered 2014 list? Have you read any of them and what do you think? Which ones intrigue you and might you read if you can get your hands on a bunch?

*Note this is the same amount of the list I have currently read, as I have done no reading for the second week in a row, bloody work! Ha.

11 Comments

Filed under Fiction Uncovered

11 responses to “The Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize 2014 Winners Announced

  1. I have Mrs. Hemingway on my TBR and can’t wait to read it. Lolito sounds fantastic, so I will definitely getting a copy of it (especially as one of my cousins nickname is Lolito – LOL!). I’m loving these 8 that were chosen!

  2. Lesley Glaister is my mentor on the Gold Dust Scheme. I am so lucky. Not only is she a really lovely woman she is also one of my greatest literary influences. I am delighted for her.

  3. Mrs Hemmingway is also on my list. Having just finished my first Hemmingway (A Moveable Feast), I find myself totally fascinated by the entire family.

  4. I mean Hemingway. I misspelled it twice!

  5. I loved Little Egypt – one of my favourite books so far this year.

  6. rivercityreading

    I’m so in love with All the Birds, Singing and Mrs. Hemingway. Looks like I’ll need to see what I can get my hands on from the rest here in the US.

  7. David

    Forgive me, Simon, but I never quite see the point of the Fiction Uncovered lists. It isn’t that they aren’t worthwhile books (the two I’ve read were both very good), but as someone who takes an interest in new books only one of these had “slipped under my radar” (the football book) so it clearly isn’t aiming at me. As for the more general reader, aren’t they likely to take more notice of the (much more visible) Richard and Judy-style lists?
    ‘All the Birds, Singing’ has been on a couple of prize lists, Woodward has been Booker-shortlisted and so is hardly unknown. Lesley Glaister has been around for years. And ‘Mrs Hemingway’ you can even buy in my very small, very populist, local WHSmith so I’d guess it is already being widely read. And although Cynan Jones is an author who perhaps hasn’t got much attention I would not be at all surprised to see ‘The Dig’ on the Booker longlist so it seems a bit premature to say it has “missed out on prizes”.
    Incidentally, has it always been called a prize? I don’t recall that from previous years – what odd criteria it must have!

    Regards, Mr Grumpy😉

  8. Quite a few of these books were already on my TBR, but I’m adding the rest of them now. I always think i am pretty up to date on books, but there are one or two that I don’t think I’ve even heard of. Always a great list.

  9. Mrs. Hemingway sounds excellent. Would love to read that. Not read the others but my brother in law’s name is Billy Parks. The title made me laugh. He’s a bit nuts and we don’t know what happened to him either.

  10. Carol S

    Lesley Glaister is an absolute god(dess), a star and a golden writer..

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