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Desmond Elliott Prize > Desmond Elliott Prize for debut fiction

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message 1: by Paul (last edited Apr 03, 2019 01:49PM) (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 9683 comments The Desmond Elliott Prize is an annual award for a first novel written in English and published in the UK. Worth £10,000 to the winner, the prize is named after the literary agent and publisher, Desmond Elliott.

"Charismatic, witty, and waspish, Elliott lived his life with verve. He drank only champagne, always crossed the Atlantic on Concorde and lunched at Fortnum and Mason. His office was in Mayfair and he had homes in St James’s and on Park Avenue. Desmond Elliott’s resolve to support new writers will live on in the shape of the prize.

When choosing the winner, a panel of three judges will look for a novel which has a compelling narrative, arresting character, and which is both vividly written and confidently realised."



Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 6128 comments Crossing the Atlantic drinking champagne is how I do much of my reading.


message 3: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 9683 comments 2018 longlist:

We That Are Young by Preti Taneja (Galley Beggar Press) - hooray!

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (HarperCollins)

The Clocks in This House All Tell Different Times by Xan Brooks (Salt)

How to Be Human by Paula Cocozza (Hutchinson)

The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar (Harvill Secker)

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak (Piatkus)

Peculiar Ground by Lucy Hughes-Hallett (4th Estate)

How Saints Die by Carmen Marcus (Harvill Secker)

One Star Awake by Andrew Meehan (New Island)

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney (Faber & Faber)


message 4: by Paul (new)


message 5: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 9683 comments Gumble's Yard wrote: "Crossing the Atlantic drinking champagne is how I do much of my reading."

That would explain a lot


message 6: by Viv (new)

Viv JM | 37 comments It's an interesting list, and I'm happy to see We That Are Young on there. I thought The Clocks in This House All Tell Different Times was marvellous too, and I'm not just saying that because Salt are based in Norfolk!


message 7: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 9683 comments Agreed but the fact both publishers are based in Norfolk is certainly an added bonus!


message 8: by Meike (new)

Meike (meikereads) Viv wrote: "It's an interesting list, and I'm happy to see We That Are Young on there. I thought The Clocks in This House All Tell Different Times was marvellous too, and I'm no..."

I would also love to see The Clocks in This House All Tell Different Times recognized - this book is still haunting me, what an impressive read!


message 9: by Tim (new)

Tim | 65 comments Would love to see either The Clocks in This House All Tell Different Times or We That Are Young recognized. Both fantastic debuts!


Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 6128 comments My reviews of 6 of the 10 books on the longlist.

We That Are Young – 5*
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
No comment needed - the book that should have won the 2018 Women's Prize

Mermaid and Mrs Hancock - 4.5*
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
I think this book just came at the right time for me after a lot of experimental reading

The Clocks in This House – 3.5*
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
This is an excellent book, I just had issues with the subject matter

Peculiar Ground – 3*
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Clearly a very talented writer, but needs to adapt her style from non-fiction

Eleanor Oliphant – 3*
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
No comment needed I think

Conversations with Friends – 3*
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
A fresh new voice but writing about superficial characters with privileged directionless lives.


message 11: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 5580 comments I am so pleased to The Clocks in This House All Tell Different Times being recognized. I loved that book and was surprised that it didn’t get more notice. There are countless books about people breaking taboos, but Xan Brooks did a remarkable job of making me care about the men breaking the taboos.

I am again surprised to find Eleanor Oliphant on this list. I don’t mean to start a debate again, but I wish I understood why it is getting more attention than other more worthy, in my humble opinion, books.


message 12: by Phillip (new)

Phillip Edwards (phillipjedwards) | 6 comments I've updated the list of longlisted titles:
https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/3...
It could do with a few more voters, and one less self-publicist author.


message 13: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 9683 comments WndyJW wrote: "I am again surprised to find Eleanor Oliphant on this list. I don’t mean to start a debate again, but I wish I understood why it is getting more attention than other more worthy, in my humble opinion, books. "

The Society of Authors also published the longlist for their Best First Novel Award today

https://m.facebook.com/authorsclub189...

Two books made both lists: The Clocks in This House All Tell Different Times and - yes you guessed it - Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine.


message 14: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 5580 comments I keep seeing Man with a seagull on his head. Has anyone read that?


Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 6128 comments Great to see two Salt and one Blue Moose book on the list.


message 16: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 9683 comments WndyJW wrote: "I keep seeing Man with a seagull on his head. Has anyone read that?"

One of our fellow RoC judges loved it
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...?


Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 6128 comments Salt with How to Be a Kosovan Bride and Blue Moose (publishers of Gallows Pole) with A Man with a Seagull on His Head.

I have both on my TBR pile as I received them as part of the crowd funding of the Republic of Consciousness Prize.


message 18: by Viv (new)

Viv JM | 37 comments Gumble's Yard wrote: "Salt with How to Be a Kosovan Bride and Blue Moose (publishers of Gallows Pole) with A Man with a Seagull on His Head.

I have both on my TBR pile as I received them as part of the crowd funding o..."


How to Be A Kosovan Bride is one of my favourite reads so far this year, but doesn't seem to have been very widely read, so hopefully this nomination will win it more readers. My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2248942389.


Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 6128 comments Shortlist. We That Are Young (clearly should go on to win), Eleanor Oliphant and How to Be Human.


message 20: by Val (new)

Val | 1016 comments I have read a few of the books on the long list, although not How to Be Human. I will remedy that, but it is going to have to be 'amazing' to beat We That Are Young.


message 21: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 9683 comments Two of my favourite books! (haven't read the third)


Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 6128 comments I just bought the third so will be interested to see what it is like


message 23: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 5580 comments If We That Are Young loses to Eleanor I will lose my faith in book prizes, at least this book prize.


message 24: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 9683 comments Well as a juror of a prize that shortlisted Preti's book but didn't make it the winner I will refrain from criticism. But much as I enjoyed Eleanor O, it was no Attrib.


message 25: by Val (new)

Val | 1016 comments The criteria for the two prizes are different.
'The judges will be looking for a novel which has a compelling narrative, arresting characters and which is both vividly written and confidently realised.'
versus
'The winner will be chosen based on two criteria, perfectly expressed on the Galley Beggar website as ‘hardcore literary fiction and gorgeous prose’.'
WTAY meets the first more closely than it does the second.


message 26: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 5580 comments How to Be Human sounds interesting, but after Fever Dream, Die, My Love, and even Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine I’m not eager for another unhinged woman. We can handle stress without losing our grip! I’m being facetious, of course, but I’ll wait to hear if it’s a must read from others in the group.


Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 6128 comments OK - this is one seriously unhinged woman - and a book I nearly abandoned several times but was glad I finished. I could easily have given it anywhere from 1* to 3.5* rounded to 4*

My review here

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 28: by Val (new)

Val | 1016 comments I have a copy. I haven't got around to reading it yet for WndyJW's reasons, but I will now.


message 29: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 5580 comments Good review, Gumble, but I think I will pass on this book.


message 30: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 9683 comments And the winner is

We That Are Young !!!!

fantastic news

2nd win for a small independent press this week.


Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 6128 comments Actually the third in a week with Tramp Press and Mike McCormack winning the Dublin Literary Prize


message 32: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 9683 comments True although for balance the Edge Hill Prize long to shortlist cut seemed to largely consist of eliminating the RoC prize books.


message 33: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3368 comments Mod
Fantastic news all round (shame the announcement coincided with a GR outage).


message 34: by Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer (last edited Jun 21, 2018 08:44AM) (new)

Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 6128 comments Unlike many other prizes whose announcement seems to coincide with a GR outRage - at least on this forum.


message 35: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 5580 comments It is very exciting to support and read small press gems and then have them go on to win prestigious awards. I’m thrilled for Preti Taneja and for Galley Beggar.


message 36: by Paul (last edited Apr 02, 2019 03:33AM) (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 9683 comments 2019 longlist is out:

Golden Child by Claire Adam Golden Child by Claire Adam (Faber & Faber)
A Perfect Explanation by Eleanor Anstruther A Perfect Explanation by Eleanor Anstruther (Salt)
Hold by Michael Donkor Hold by Michael Donkor (4th Estate)
The Chameleon by Samuel Fisher The Chameleon by Samuel Fisher (Salt)
Everything Under by Daisy Johnson Everything Under by Daisy Johnson (Jonathan Cape)
Devoured by Anna Mackmin Devoured by Anna Mackmin (Propolis Books)
Future Popes of Ireland by Darragh Martin Future Popes of Ireland by Darragh Martin (4th Estate)
Follow Me To Ground by Sue Rainsford Follow Me To Ground by Sue Rainsford (New Island Books)
Stubborn Archivist by Yara Rodrigues Fowler Stubborn Archivist by Yara Rodrigues Fowler (Fleet)
Testament by Kim Sherwood Testament by Kim Sherwood (riverrun)


message 37: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 9683 comments I have read 4 - Hold, Follow me to Ground, The Chameleon, Everything Under - all very strong (the Booker shortlisted Everything Under is probably the weakest and it was my 2nd favourite for the Booker).

Great to see two novels by Norfolk indy Salt Publishing, one by Samuel Fisher of the Burley Fisher bookshop.


message 38: by Robert (new)

Robert | 2111 comments Stubborn Archivist is fantastic - it's similar to Bottled Goods style-wise.


message 39: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3368 comments Mod
I would love to see Everything Under win something. The only other one I have read is Follow Me to Ground, which for me was the weakest book on the RofC longlist (not that it was that bad, but...)


message 40: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 9683 comments Robert wrote: "Stubborn Archivist is fantastic - it's similar to Bottled Goods style-wise."

That sounds great ... then the publisher's blurb compares it to Conversations with Friends, Gumble Yard's least favourite novel on last year's list.

It feels from reviews (is yours up yet?) that style wise closer to Bottled Goods but subject matter wise closer to Rooney?


message 41: by Robert (new)

Robert | 2111 comments Paul wrote: "Robert wrote: "Stubborn Archivist is fantastic - it's similar to Bottled Goods style-wise."

That sounds great ... then the publisher's blurb compares it to Conversations with Friends, Gumble Yard'..."


Here's my review:

https://thebobsphere.wordpress.com/20...

I haven't read Conversations with Friends but I don't think Rooney's style is present in the SA. Rodrigues' writing is not dissimilar the quirky type of narration one sees in books by Lorrie Moore.


message 42: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 9683 comments Thanks - it sounds great. I do think this is an impressive prize generally in terms of its ability to seek out a range of interesting new voices.


message 43: by Robert (new)

Robert | 2111 comments Paul wrote: "Thanks - it sounds great. I do think this is an impressive prize generally in terms of its ability to seek out a range of interesting new voices."

Yes - agreed


Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 6128 comments That does sound great and will try to get round to it once I have reduced my TBR pile which is starting to stress me in its size!

Much as I liked Chameleon (and I think I liked it a lot more than you Paul) and Follow Me To The Ground (which I know did not get a lot of love from those following the RoC longlist) - Everything Under is a class above both.

I had hoped that Eleanor Anstruther's book might make the Women's Prize long list - and definitely have that lined up to read at some point.

The prize has been won twice in its short history by a Norfolk based publisher - so would be great if another Norfolk based publisher won it this year (via Salt).

I like to think that somewhere roughly equidistant between Norwich and Cromer (say the little village of Heydon in which my great grandparents lived) is the centre of the literary universe.


message 45: by Phillip (new)

Phillip Edwards (phillipjedwards) | 6 comments Phillip wrote: "I've updated the list of longlisted titles:
https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/3...
It could do with a few more voters, and one less self-publicist author."



message 46: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 9683 comments The shortlist of 3 has been chosen.

Hold, Golden Child and Devoured.

https://amp.theguardian.com/books/boo...

Write up from one of the judges, novelist Alan Hollinghurst. Interestingly the judges for the shortlist and winner start with the longlist so a different panel must choose that, which I rather like as a way of judging a prize.


Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 6128 comments So that would be

One book about a Norfolk childhood
One book about a twin called Paul
One book by a teacher at your daughters school

You kept the fact you were a judge very quiet.


message 48: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 9683 comments Yes that, and the fact I won the Booker Prize in 2004 are two things I prefer not to mention.


message 49: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 9683 comments Golden Child wins


message 50: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 9683 comments So the teacher at my daughter’s school missed out to a book about two identical twins, one who is a star pupil and other called Paul who is “slightly retarded.” Not sure how I feel about that.


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