Recently, I met with my fellow judges in Foyles’ beautiful flagship store in London where we had an in-depth discussion on the twelve books we’d chosen for the Green Carnation longlist. It was difficult to whittle this stack down to a shortlist because they are such a diverse and interesting group we all heartily recommend. But, after much debate, (helped along with some slices of cake) I’m proud to announce we’ve come up with a shortlist of six books!
Here we have a novel that reaches across time to shake hands with George Eliot, a fictional reimagining of the author's great-grandfather's exile, a personal & urgent non-fiction account of the drug war that's torn our society apart, a multi-voiced tale from Jamaica that includes complex & original gay characters, a lively & entertaining narrator who provides an essential counter-point to the birth of Marxism and a personal & poetic memoir about family.
Sophie & The Sibyl by Patricia Duncker (Bloomsbury)
A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale (Hodder Books)
Chasing the Scream by Johann Hari (Bloomsbury)
A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James (One World)
Mrs Engels by Gavin McCrea (Scribe)
Stammered Songbook by Erwin Mortier (Pushkin Press)
Have you read any of these books? What are you interested in reading from this list? Are there other books you’d have liked to see listed? Any thoughts on the list as a whole?
I would love to know your thoughts. It’s going to be a challenge choosing a winner from this fantastic group.