Young Welsh Novelists Make Longlist for Prize Which Could Take Work to a Global Audience; Actor Honoured to Reveal Authors Bidding for Dylan Thomas Title

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), July 14, 2008 | Go to article overview
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Young Welsh Novelists Make Longlist for Prize Which Could Take Work to a Global Audience; Actor Honoured to Reveal Authors Bidding for Dylan Thomas Title


Byline: David Williamson

TWO of Wales' youngest novelists were yesterday longlisted for a pounds 60,000 book prize which honours poet Dylan Thomas.

Joe Dunthorne, originally from Swansea, and Caerphilly-born Zoe Brigley are in the running for the international award which has the potential to bring their books to a global audience.

The longlist for the biennial Dylan Thomas Prize, which is open to writers under the age of 30 whose works are published in the English language, was announced yesterday by actor Michael Sheen.

Mr Dunthorne, 26, is the author of Submarine, which details the adventures of a 14-year-old boy in Swansea.

Ms Brigley, 27, has written The Secret, a book of poetry which draws on biblical tales, Celtic legends and Latin-American history.

Susan Fletcher, whose childhood holidays in West Wales inspired EveGreen - which won her the 2004 Whitbread First Novel award at the age of 25 - is nominated for Oystercatchers. The main character, Moira, comes to the recognition she has been a cruel sister during the book's exploration of trust and loneliness.

Also among the 16 nominees is Yorkshire-born Ross Raisin, a 27-year-old waiter who has written God's Own Country, a story of a farmer's son who attempts to escape his life mending fences and avoiding his brutal father after falling in love.

The youngest writer on the list is Oxford student Caroline Bird, 24, who grew up in Leeds, and has been longlisted for her second poetry collection, Trouble Came to the Turnip.

International nominees include Porochista Khakpour, from Iran, for Sons and Other Flammable Objects. It portrays the impact of the September 11 terrorist attacks on Iranian fathers and sons in Los Angeles and NewYork.

Ceridwen Dovey, a South African Harvard graduate, tells the story of a president overthrown by a military coup in Blood Kin.

Brooklyn author Ben Dolnick penned his coming-of-age novel Zoology following studies of English at Columbia University and time as a zookeeper at Central Park Zoo.

Peter Stead, prize founder and a member of the judging panel, said: "The calibre of all these works is outstanding. The quality of entries this year has been exceptional, and it was a difficult task to pickout the 16 authors.

"However, I believe that this year's longlist is one of the strongest ever seen among any international literary prize.

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