Gordon Burn Prize 2018: 13-strong longlist highlights fearless works of fiction and non-fiction

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The longlist is announced today for the Gordon Burn Prize 2018, which seeks to reward some of the boldest and most fearless new books published in the United Kingdom and the United States.


Denise Mina won the prize in 2017 for her true crime novel The Long Drop. Previous winners have included David Szalay’s linked collection of short stories, All That Man Is, and In Plain Sight: The Life and Lies of Jimmy Savile by Dan Davies.


Gordon Burn’s writing was precise and rigorous, and often blurred the line between fact and fiction. He wrote across a wide range of subjects, from celebrities to serial killers, politics to contemporary art; his works include the novels Fullalove and Born Yesterday: The News as a Novel and non-fiction Happy Like Murderers: The Story of Fred and Rosemary West, Best and Edwards: Football, Fame and Oblivion and Sex & Violence, Death & Silence: Encounters with Recent Art.


The Gordon Burn Prize, founded in 2012 and run in partnership by the Gordon Burn Trust, New Writing North, Faber & Faber and Durham Book Festival, seeks to celebrate the work of those who follow in his footsteps: novels that dare to enter history and interrogate the past; non-fiction adventurous enough to inhabit characters and events to create new and vivid realities. The prize is open to works in English published between 1 July 2017 and 1 July 2018, by writers of any nationality or descent who are resident in the United Kingdom or the United States of America.


The longlist for the Gordon Burn Prize 2018 is:

  • To Throw Away Unopened, Viv Albertine (Faber & Faber)
  • The Princess of Herself, Roberta Allen (Pelekinesis)
  • Census, Jesse Ball (Granta)
  • H(a)ppy, Nicola Barker (Heinemann)
  • In Our Mad and Furious City, Guy Gunaratne (Tinder Press)
  • Madame Zero, Sarah Hall (Faber & Faber)
  • Keegan and Dalglish, Richard T. Kelly (Simon & Schuster)
  • Crudo, Olivia Laing (Picador)
  • The Cost of Living, Deborah Levy (Hamish Hamilton)
  • A Hero for High Times, Ian Marchant (Cape)
  • I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, Michelle McNamara (Faber & Faber)
  • The Debatable Land, Graham Robb (Picador)
  • Don’t Skip Out on Me, Willy Vlautin (Faber & Faber)


The judges for the Gordon Burn Prize 2018 are critic and journalist Alex Clark, chair of the judges, poet and author Kei Miller, artist Gillian Wearing and musician Andrew Weatherall. The shortlist will be announced on 19 July and the prize itself will be awarded at Durham Town Hall at the Durham Book Festival, a Durham County Council festival, on Thursday 11 October 2018.