The twelve strong longlist of titles celebrating LGBT writing have been announced after hours of debates between the judges over an exceptional list of submissions, the most the prize has seen in its history to date. Once again with a list including fiction; from debut novelists to well established literary faces, non-fiction; from poetry to investigations into the drugs world, the Green Carnation proves itself as one of the most diverse prizes. I would say all this (and I did as I wrote the press release) because as regular readers of the blog will know, I am one of the founders and now Honorary Directors of the Prize. What some of you might not know is I find out the longlist very last minute and this year (what with never being anywhere long in the last few weeks) I found out a while after the meeting. The list is a very strong one I think…
- Blood Relatives – Stevan Alcock (4th Estate)
- Deep Lane – Mark Doty (Jonathan Cape)
- Sophie and the Sibyl – Patricia Duncker (Bloomsbury)
- Artwash: Big Oil and the Arts – Mel Evans (Pluto Press)
- A Place Called Winter – Patrick Gale (Tinder Press)
- Chasing the Scream – Johann Hari (Bloomsbury Circus)
- A Brief History of Seven Killings – Marlon James (Oneworld)
- The Gracekeepers – Kirsty Logan (Harvill Secker)
- Mrs Engels – Gavin McCrea (Scribe)
- Stammered Songbook – Erwin Mortier (Pushkin Press)
- Don’t Let Him Know – Sandip Roy (Bloomsbury)
- The Curator – Jacques Strauss (Jonathan Cape)
To prove how out of the loop I am with the books, apart from the fact that I chase the submissions, I have only read five of the books and so have rather a lot of wonderful reads in the next month before the shortlist is announced on Thursday the 5th of November. I have shockingly only reviewed two of the five I have read, which I need to sort out sharpish. Yet at the moment book reviews seem like some elusive thing that I dream of doing, or sometimes have nightmares of people screaming down the phone at me for not doing, as I don’t seem to be able to find the time at the moment. But I will, I really will. anyway, you can find out more about the Green Carnation Prize and the longlist on the website.
Do I have any favourites? Were there any I was sad not to see make the list? Well, that would be telling. What I would love to know are your thoughts on the list and which of the books you have read and what you thought of those?