The Goldsmiths Prize has released its shortlist of six books, according to the Guardian, including titles from Booker Prize winner DBC Pierre and National Book Critics Circle Award winner Xiaolu Guo.
Established in 2013 by Goldsmiths College, University of London, in collaboration with the New Statesman magazine, the prize carries a purse of about $13,000 and is awarded to a book written by a British or Irish author. According to the prize website, its purpose is “to celebrate the qualities of creative daring associated with the College and to reward fiction that breaks the mould or extends the possibilities of the novel form.”
This year’s lineup is “an essential snapshot of the most ambitious and compelling fiction being written in the U.K and Ireland today,” according to Tom Gatti, deputy editor of the New Statesman.The shortlist titles include Meanwhile in Dopamine City by DBC Pierre, Mr. Beethoven by Paul Griffiths, A Lover’s Discourse by Xiaolu Guo, The Sunken Land Begins To Rise Again by M. John Harrison, The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey, and Bina by Anakana Schofield.
Formal innovation is a signal characteristic of Goldsmiths honorees. The text of Pierre’s Meanwhile in Dopamine City splits into two columns after its protagonist acquires a smartphone —“the only way I could think to capture the experience of diffuse attention and distraction,” the author told the Guardian in August. Bina is presented as a series of warnings written on the back of envelopes, and The Mermaid of Black Conch combines prose, poetry, and journal entries.
Past winners of the Goldsmiths Prize include Lucy Ellman, Kevin Barry, Ali Smith, and Eimear McBride.
The winner will be announced on Nov. 11 at an online ceremony.
Marion Winik is a regular Kirkus reviewer and author of The Big Book of the Dead.