Congratulations to our five shortlisted books.
The list contains books from publishers from Dublin, London, Leeds and Edinburgh, and writers/translators based in Ireland, Scotland, USA, England, Argentina and Germany. Featuring hybrid works of essay-fiction, great feats of story-telling, a debut novel, a break-out hit from an established author, translated and English-language novels, the shortlist shows the variety and range of what small presses in the UK and Ireland can and do publish.
Monique Roffey£9.99 £9.29
SHORTLISTED In 1976, off the tiny Caribbean island of Black Conch, two American big game fisherman haul a mermaid from the ocean, her huge tail, thick and pulsing, encrusted with shells and seaweed, beautiful but terrifying. The story that unfolds is an exhilarating high-wire act, a masterclass in how ancient myth can be dramatically repurposed.
Shola von Reinhold£8.99 £8.36
SHORTLISTED Shola von Reinhold’s rapturous queer attempt to reaffirm pleasure as the heart of the novel is rich with intrigue and suspense, and possessed of a superbly arch narrative voice. It is also an indictment and a powerful decolonial response to historical and contemporary attempts to curate art and art history within the calcified mould of European conservatism.
Lynne Tillman£12.99 £12.08
SHORTLISTED A wry, searching commentary on our contemporary world scattered across a 38-year-old’s exposition of his own masculinity. Through a series of short essay-like episodes, Tillman turns Zeke’s philosophical musings into genuinely fascinating and funny extended studies on feminism, family history, American pop culture, personal betrayal and heartbreak.
Luis Sagasti£8.99 £8.36
SHORTLISTED This rich and complex book is the second by the Argentinian writer Luis Sagasti to have been published in translation by Charco Press. Like the first, Fireflies, it is unclassifiable in the best possible way, braiding together memoir, history, science, fable, musical criticism, and anthropology in a way that summons the ghosts of both Sebald and Borges but with a poise and originality that is all Sagasti’s own.
Doireann Ni Ghriofa£12.99 £12.08
SHORTLISTED The twin tale of a young 21st century mother and an 18th century Irish noblewoman, Eibhlínn Dubh Ní Chonnaill, who mourned the murder of her husband by drinking his blood and composing the Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire, one of the greatest poems in the Irish language, A Ghost in the Throat moves between past and present with hallucinogenic intensity as the narrator uncovers the details of the dead poet’s life, each revelation deepening her own sense of herself as a writer and a woman.