Some of you will have already probably heard the news that the Green Carnation Prize 2013 longlist, which celebrates LGBT writing, was announced earlier today. For the first year in the prizes four years I’ve actually not done been on the judging panel or indeed been involved in the judging process/discussions (I have been doing all the admin behind the scenes) so it has all been rather weird and also extremely exciting as I have been desperate to know what the longlist would be. Well, here it is…
- Gob’s Grief – Chris Adrian (Granta Books)
- Five Star Billionaire – Tash Aw (4th Estate)
- Maggie & Me – Damian Barr (Bloomsbury)
- Environmental Studies – Maureen Duffy (Enitharmon)
- Fallen Land – Patrick Flanery (Atlantic Books)
- Black Bread White Beer – Niven Govinden (The Friday Project)
- The Sea Inside – Philip Hoare (4th Estate)
- May We Be Forgiven – A. M. Homes (Granta)
- The Kills – Richard House (Picador)
- Fanny & Stella – Neil McKenna (Faber and Faber)
- Almost English – Charlotte Mendelson (Mantle Books)
- Far From The Tree – Andrew Solomon (Chatto & Windus)
What an eclectic mix! I have only read two and a half of these so far (loved the Barr, need to review the brilliant Govinden – though I have interviewed him – and am now reading the Homes, by coincidence. for book club this week) and so I have decided that I will try, when the mood takes, to read them before the shortlist is announced on November the 5th. You can find out about the longlisted titles in more detail here.
What do you think of the list? Which of these have you read and what did you make of them?
One of the joys of blogging was meeting lots of new people and getting very excited about books. Three years ago along with Paul Magrs, Nick Campbell and joined by Lesley Cookman I started on an exciting new venture co-founding a prize for LGBT literature of all kinds which eventually, after a small glitch with the initial name, was called The Green Carnation Prize. Well just over three years later the prize has changed a little bit yet the current team of judges, and one is an old ropey judge who refuses to leave, has brought you a very exciting longlist of thirteen books which are…
- Carry The One – Carol Anshaw (Penguin)
- Are You My Mother? – Alison Bechdel (Jonathan Cape)
- Ninety Days – Bill Clegg (Jonathan Cape)
- The Purple Shroud – Stella Duffy (Virago)
- Absolution – Patrick Flanery (Atlantic Books)
- A Perfectly Good Man – Patrick Gale (4th Estate)
- Scenes From An Early Life – Philip Hensher (4th Estate)
- Tony Hogan Bought Me An Ice Cream Before He Stole Me Ma – Kerry Hudson (Chatto & Windus)
- Snake Ropes – Jess Richards (Sceptre)
- Hawthorn & Child – Keith Ridgway (Granta Books)
- Valentine Grey – Sandi Toksvig (Virago)
- Moffie – Andre Carl Van Der Merwe (Europa Editions)
- Jack Holmes and his Friend – Edmund White (Bloomsbury)
It is nice to be able to share at least the titles of some of the books that I have been secretly reading away over the past few months. Alas, I can’t tell you exactly what I thought of these thirteen because there is the short listing and the winning announcement to go, but it might be time to start telling you about some of the amazing books that didn’t make the longlist this year… because that is how good the submitted books were this year.
Always keen to get in on the act, a certain Oscar cat is now casting his eyes over the selected few and will be accompanying me in some re-reading. However I think I might have a week of reading just what I fancy first.
So what do you think of the list? Have you read any of them? What do you think might make the shortlist? Are there any you are surprised not to see? Are you going to give any of them a whirl? All thoughts, as always, most welcome.
Full details and thoughts from all the judges, and updates over the next few weeks, on the Green Carnation Prize can be found on the website.
I am at my mothers this weekend after a rather bonkers week and so I thought rather than go silent I would let you all know what I have on my reading periphery and then hopefully you can all let me know what you are reading, mainly because I am nosey.
Currently my bedside table looks like this…
The next of the Manchester Book Club titles is ‘The Master & Margarita’ by Mikhail Bulgakov as chosen by fellow member Alex. I have to say I am oddly excited (whilst being slightly daunted) by this novel, I know it’s meant to be quite bonkers and brilliant but also it’s my first real foray into Russian literature, mainly because I have always been worried I am not clever enough for it – we will see.
Next up is ‘Absolution’ by Patrick Flanery which I have been meaning to read for ages. When I visited Atlantic Books HQ earlier in the year everyone was saying how good it was and I do want to read more novels set in South Africa.
Finally are two novels which I am both reading for The Readers, though aren’t part of the Summer Book Club. This is because, and I feel there should be a drum roll here, on Wednesday coming myself and Gavin will be interviewing Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter for an hour long special of the podcast. Gavin is so excited, I am now seriously Pratchett prepping. I will also be interviewing Carlos Ruiz Zafon this week and so I’m getting ready for that too by reading his latest.
Oh and I should mention the books I have taken away with me! I packed ‘Wyrd Sisters’, which lots of you said I should read as my way into Discworld, and I also packed ‘Filthy Lucre’ which is the shortest of Beryl Bainbridge’s novels (apparently she wrote it as a child) as next week it’s Beryl Bainbridge Reading Week over at Gaskella! I plan on picking another Bainbridge up too if I have time as Annabel kindly introduced me to her with ‘The Bottle Factory Outing’.
Phew, that’s a lot of bookish bedside chatter, though not quite enough… I would love your thoughts on what I’m reading and about to read PLUS find out what you are reading right now/next, as I said I’m very nosey and besides I can never hear enough about books. Over to you…
In the UK the bookstore chain Waterstones is something of a legend, it is also a company that is undergoing some big changes in the time of online shopping and the *cough* e-reader. One initiative that they came up with last year was the ‘Waterstones 11’ which what the eleven top debut authors to look out for in 2011, now they have brought it back for 2012 and it is rather an intriguing list.
I have said that in 2012 I will be reading more of the books from the never ending pile of reading delights that makes up the TBR. In terms of modern fiction I am probably going to steer away from all the prize long lists (and quite possibly the shortlists, we will see) this year, this list however is one I am going to be keeping in mind and on the reading periphery in the main because it is debut novels but also because after having gone off and found out more about them it is a really mixed and varied list. Here it is for you in detail…
The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan (William Heinemann)
Absolution by Patrick Flanery (Atlantic)
Shelter by Frances Greenslade (Virago)
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach (Fourth Estate)
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (Headline Review)
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (Doubleday)
The Land of Decoration by Grace McCleen (Chatto & Windus)
Signs of Life by Anna Raverat (Picador)
The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan (Virago)
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker (Simon & Schuster)
Care of Wooden Floors by Will Wiles (Harper Press)
I am certainly not going to say that I am going to read them ALL, for a start The Art of Fielding is a book I have seen everywhere and yet with its baseball theme really doesn’t float my fictional boat at all. Sorry. However, I have three of them already (in italics) and I am certainly intrigued by ‘Shelter’, Iand I think that ‘Care of Wooden Floors’ had me at the title which is odd as I wouldn’t think it was a very me one if I am honest. ‘The Panopticon’ also sounds particularly bonkers and Dan of Dog Ear Discs has raved about ‘The Lifeboat’ which he has got early. I have heard from Novel Insights who was at the event and apparently she has got me a sampler of all of them so I can find out more. I have noticed though lots of them aren’t out right now, or for quite some time, maybe they will be released early?
Have you heard much pre-release mention of any of these? Is there a title which you are particularly looking forward to? Do you like the idea of bookstores promoting books like this? Which debut novel coming out in 2012 would you have popped on the list that may be missing?