Here at Impress HQ, it’s prize season and the editorial team are reading away to decide the shortlist. In the spirit of the Impress Prize, we’re reflecting on other prize winners in the literary world this year. Enjoy!
The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney
McInerney won the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2016 and the Desmond Elliott Prize 2016.
This book is Trainspotting rebooted, with much more flare and a tragedy to it that is both heartbreaking and stunning. It fizzes with a blunt and sarcastic tone that paints vivid – but also bleak – pictures. Ryan Cusack’s story is expertly painted and the changes throughout his life are like snapshots of completely different people, making the ‘What Tara Did’ chapter even more important in uniting these images and showing how he was swallowed up by the many circumstances of the city. There are no inhibitions in this book and the raw, stark and emotional prose is written so well that you’ll want to start again as soon as you’ve finished.
The Ghost Road by Pat Barker
Barker won the Man Booker Prize in 1995 with The Ghost Road, which is the last instalment of the Regeneration Trilogy. We once again pick up with Dr Rivers and Billy Prior as Prior prepares to return to France, having now been treated from shell-shock. Barker lives up to everything that was promised in the previous books in the trilogy, managing to keep the reader guessing right until the very end.
A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
Another Man Booker Prize winner (2015), this is a novel with a lot of experimental quality and will probably end up on university reading lists at some point. James knows when to change up the style to keep his readers interested but this book is a marathon not a sprint. James breaks down a lot of social and political barriers and expertly uses multiple streams of consciousness to his advantage.
It’s also fab to see a small independent publisher winning the Man Booker Prize!
I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
Mackintosh recently won the Theakston Crime Novel of the Year Award with I Let You Go. Mackintosh is an expert in red herrings and twists that will leave the reader spinning like a top. It’s an expertly written crime novel and is only succeeded by her recently published second novel I See You.
We’ve also picked out a few from prize shortlists…
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Yanagihara’s literary fiction novel has been nominated for a number of prizes, most recently the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2016 and the Man Booker Prize in 2015. Starting with the relationships between four characters, this novel promises a harrowing, moving read that will be hard to forget.
The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle
This gripping novel is currently on the John Creasey New Blood Dagger shortlist. There are lies, secrets and betrayals as a conman gets closer and closer to a wealthy widow. This novel examines the past and the future and we wait with baited breath to see whether it wins the CWA Dagger this year.
Want to read some prize novels from the Impress shelves?
The Joyce Girl by Annabel Abbs
Annabel Abbs won the Impress Prize for New Writers in 2015 with her novel The Joyce Girl. The Joyce Girl is a mesmerising tale of love and madness inspired by the tragic life of Lucia Joyce, daughter of James Joyce. Set in 1920s Paris, it follows her through her dancing career, affair with Samuel Beckett, and her eventual psychological decline. It is a must-read for fans of The Ballroom by Anna Hope, or Mrs Hemingway by Naomi Wood.
Order your copy of The Joyce Girl here.
Conquest I: Daughter of the Last King
Tracey Warr was shortlisted for the Impress Prize in 2010. Since then, she has two books published with Impress (Almodis: The Peaceweaver and The Viking Hostage) and has five coming out over the next couple of years. Daughter of the Last King is the first of a trilogy telling the tale of Nest ferch Rhys, the daughter of the last independent Welsh king. Nest is captured by the Normans, raised by her captors and her pending marriage is used as a political tool to stabilise the Norman rule.
Preorder your copy of Conquest here.
Smoke and Adders by Jennie Finch
Like Tracey, Jennie was also shortlisted for the prize and her last book in the Alex Hastings crime series will be released in September. Alex Hastings – probation officer and idealist – still believes in the good in other people, but the little town of Highpoint is becoming a very dangerous place for her. An arsonist is starting fires on the Somerset Levels and a sexual predator stalks the streets looking for his next, perfect victim. As the summer heat turns the surrounding countryside to tinder, Alex must deal with this fresh wave of criminal activity under the increasingly watchful eye of the Senior Officer. As her friends settle into new lives, Alex hopes for a brighter future, but will the increasing pressures of her work stand in the way?
Preorder your copy of Smoke and Adders here.