Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Llewellyn Rhys Shortlist Announced

The John Llewellyn Rhys shortlist has been announced and pitches two works of non-fiction:
Robert Macfarlane - The Wild Places

(Macfarlane, one of Britain's best nature writers, travels the length and breadth of the country to find wilderness.)

Rory Stewart - Occupational Hazards: My Time Governing in Iraq

(Stewart was an administrator in the early days after the invasion.)
against four novels:

Sarah Hall - The Carhullan Army

("The world has changed. War rages in South America and China, and Britain - now entirely dependent on the US for food and energy - is run by an omnipresent dictatorship known simply as The Authority. Assets and weapons have been seized, every movement is monitored and women are compulsorily fitted with contraceptive devices. This is Sister's story of her attempt to escape the repressive regime. From the confines of her Lancaster prison cell she tells of her such for The Carhullan Army, a quasi-mythical commune of 'unofficial' women rumoured to be living in a remote part of Cumbria...")

Gwendoline Riley - Joshua Spassky

(According to the Times "Riley writes with a Woolf-ish exactitude... A brilliant and
beautiful novel" but readers on amazon.co.uk don't seem too impressed! "It gave me great pleasure to toss it in the bin," says one.)

Ceridwen Dovey - Blood Kin

("A barber, a chef and a portraitist are held hostage in a sparsely-furnished room, in a grand summer residence perched on a hill overlooking the capital city of a nameless hot country. They have been seized in a bloody coup to depose the President, their boss. In the city streets below them, chaos reigns." The novel is described as "masterful, thrilling and deeply affecting".)

Joanna Kavenna - Inglorious

("Rosa Lane is a fashionable journalist in her thirties, already the picture of London achievement. Her handsome boyfriend is something in politics and her other friends are confident, prosperous and ambitious. But one afternoon, staring at her computer screen at work, she fails to see the point, walks out of her job - and begins her long fall from modern grace.")
Richard Lea reports on the award in the Guardian, noting that poetry and drama (the award is open to all) been totally overlooked have this year.

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