The shortlist for one of the world’s largest literary prizes for young writers – the Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize – is announced today, featuring a raft of bold new voices that challenge expectations in a compelling exploration of survival, identity, belonging and what it means to be ‘other’ in our world today.

Comprising of five novels and one short story collection, including four debuts and four women, the shortlist is:

  • Alligator and Other Stories by Dima Alzayat (Picador) – short story collection (Syria/USA)
  • Kingdomtide by Rye Curtis (HarperCollins, 4th Estate) – novel (USA)
  • The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi (Faber) – novel (Nigeria/USA)
  • Pew by Catherine Lacey (Granta) – novel (USA)
  • Luster by Raven Leilani (Picador/Farrar, Straus and Giroux) – novel (USA)
  • My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell (HarperCollins, 4th Estate) – novel (USA)

Among the contenders for this prestigious £20,000 prize are two of the most talked about breakout novels of recent times: New York City native Raven Leilani has been recognised for the brutal and brilliant Luster, her razor-sharp debut about what it means to be a black millennial woman in America; and Kate Elizabeth Russell has been chosen by the judges for her darkly shocking exploration of an abusive relationship and sexual consent in My Dark Vanessa, an era-defining novel described as “a package of dynamite” by Stephen King.

This year’s winner will be revealed at a virtual ceremony on 13 May, the eve of International Dylan Thomas Day.

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Monday April 26th, 2021

Posted In: Events: What's on?, Messages, Misc

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