After an intense nine months of reading, the judges spent almost two days debating and discussing all the submissions for the Green Carnation Prizes second year. This year’s longlist includes a diverse mix of genres, household names, debut authors and tales of love to tales of psychopaths and all sorts in between. Without further ado we can reveal that the Green Carnation Longlist 2011 is made up of…
- By Nightfall – Michael Cunningham (Fourth Estate)
- The Strange Case of the Composer and his Judge – Patricia Duncker (Bloomsbury)
- The Proof of Love – Catherine Hall (Portobello)
- Red Dust Road – Jackie Kay (Picador)
- The Retribution – Val McDermid (Little Brown)
- Purge – Sofi Oksanen (Atlantic Books)
- There But for The… – Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton)
- Remembrance of Things I Forgot – Bob Smith (Terrace Books)
- Ever Fallen in Love – Zoe Strachan (Sandstone Press)
- The Empty Family – Colm Toibin (Penguin Books)
- Role Models – John Waters (Beautiful Books)
- Before I Go To Sleep – S.J Watson (Doubleday)
- Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal? – Jeanette Winterson (Jonathan Cape)
Chair of the judges, blogger, journalist and literary salon host Simon Savidge said “with so many submissions and so many wonderful books we didn’t feel we could have a shortlist of just ten, in fact to get it down to a baker’s dozen took hours of discussion, thankfully there were no tears or blood shed. I think the long list this year is very exciting and very diverse. We have three memoirs; a collection of short stories… there’s crime, literary and science fiction. We also have books by some well known names along with some stunning debuts and some authors that people might not have heard of before – in fact that also applies to some of the publishers. What all of these books have in common is that they are wonderful, wonderful reads and a selection of books that anyone could pick up and get lost in. Whilst I am looking forward to returning to all of them, cutting them down to a shortlist of five is going to be quite a mission for us all.”
The award keeps a judge, or two, from previous years as a form of continuity and this years chairs thoughts were echoed by fellow judges of both years, blogger Nick Campbell suggested “anyone who likes to be led astray and told marvellous secrets by their reading matter will find themselves well satisfied with these.” Paul Magrs who chaired the award in its inaugural year and came back for 2011 said it was “fascinating again to see who’s come out on top.”
One of the new judges for 2011 Michelle Pauli, deputy editor of the Guardian Books website was very excited about the list and its diversity both with authors and genres “just as the Green Carnation prize itself has broadened out this year to include all LGBT writers, not just gay men, so this longlist represents a wonderfully wide range of writing – from established literary names to debut authors, crime and thrillers to biographies and short stories. It’s going to be tough whittling it down to a shortlist.” Author Stella Duffy who also joined the judging panel this year was very excited about the inclusion of women in this years award, and indeed their prominence in the longlist “I’m ‘delighted to see so many women writers on the list and excited by the range of writing”.
The shortlist will be announced on November 2nd 2011, and the winner on December the 7th 2011.
You can hear the chair of judges Simon Savidge discussing the longlist, minutes after it was finalized, with Gavin Pugh here.