Swansea University has revealed the shortlist for the Dylan Thomas Prize, given annually to “the best published literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under.”
Arinze Ifeakandu was named a finalist for God’s Children Are Little Broken Things, his debut story collection. The book was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize; a critic wrote, “Deftly capturing the richness and dangers of romantic connection, these stories complicate and reimagine queer narratives.”
Three other debut books also made the shortlist: Warsan Shire for her poetry collection, Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head; Sheena Patel for her novel, I’m a Fan, and Saba Sams for her short story collection, Send Nudes.
Irish author Sara Baume was named a finalist for her novel Seven Steeples, while Australian writer Robbie Arnott made the shortlist for his novel Limberlost.
The Dylan Thomas Prize, named after the legendary Welsh poet, was first awarded in 2006. Previous winners have included Maggie Shipstead for Seating Arrangements, Joshua Ferris for To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, and Max Porter for Grief Is the Thing With Feathers.
The winner of the award, which comes with a cash prize of about $24,600, will be revealed at a ceremony on May 11 in Swansea, Wales.
Michael Schaub, a journalist and regular contributor to NPR, lives near Austin, Texas.