The Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses announced its shortlist on Saturday afternoon at an event held at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. Sadly I couldn’t attend. As in previous years, I had followed the judges’ selections with interest.
The complete longlist – 13 books
Photo credit: Graham Fulcher on Twitter @GrahamFulcher1
Thus far I have managed to read nine of the thirteen books longlisted and posted an interview with, or guest post from, eight of the publishers. If any longlisted publisher would still like to send me their book to review, or a guest post about their press and thoughts on literary prizes, I will happily continue with my RofC feature this month (my review of Sweet Home will be posted on Wednesday).
As a recap, click on the book title below to read my review or on the publisher name to read their interview or guest post. Some of these are older posts. Others were provided in response to a request I made in preparation for my 2019 coverage of the prize when the longlist was announced.
- Murmur by Will Eaves, published by CB Editions
- Resistance by Julián Fuks (translated by Daniel Hahn), published by Charco Press
- Bottled Goods by Sophie van Llewyn, published by Fairlight Books
- Lucia by Alex Pheby, published by Galley Beggar Press
- Dedalus by Chris McCabe, published by Henningham Family Press
- Doppelgänger by Daša Drndić (translated by Celia Hawkesworth and S. D. Curtis), published by Istros Books
- Kitch by Anthony Joseph, published by Peepal Tree Press
- Soviet Milk by Nora Ikstena (translated by Margita Gailitis), published by Peirene Press
- Hang Him When He Is Not There by Nicholas John Turner, published by Splice
- Sweet Home by Wendy Erskine, published by The Stinging Fly Press
Having been a judge for the prize last year I am well aware of how hard it will have been to whittle down submitted books to create the longlist, and the near impossibility of then removing some of these from contention to create a shortlist. Much as I enjoyed my previous involvement, standing in a room full of hopeful authors and publishers at the shortlist announcement last year knowing that some of them would not be happy with the result proved excruciating.
This year I am looking on as a reader, not party to discussions. Bearing in mind that I have not read four of the thirteen books from the longlist (Kitch, Now Now Louison, Follow Me to Ground, The Cemetery in Barnes) I was disappointed not to see Resistance and Bottled Goods on the shortlist.
However, the five books on this list that I have read are all strong contenders. Well done to these six authors and publishers for making the cut.
On 20th March an evening of readings will be held at the London Review Bookshop (details here). I have no doubt that this will be a fascinating event for those who can attend.
The 2019 winner of the Republic of Consciousness Prize is due to be announced on March 28th. Good luck to all on the shortlist, and to the judges as they make their difficult choice.