Gordon Burn Prize shortlist announced

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We’re delighted to reveal the shortlist for the inaugural Gordon Burn Prize, which was announced this evening at the launch for the 2013 Durham Book Festival. The prize was set up by Gordon’s publisher Faber & Faber, New Writing North, and the Gordon Burn Trust to celebrate books which capture the spirit and sensibility of Gordon’s writing.

Born and raised in Newcastle – his mother worked at Binns, his father was a paint-sprayer and Gordon was a regular visitor to St James’ Park football ground – Gordon Burn, who died in 2009, is known as a writer who never shied away from a controversial or complicated story. For him, no subject or character was beyond fictionalising; from Peter Sutcliffe, Alma Cogan, George Best and Bobby Charlton, to Damien Hirst, Gordon Brown and Margaret Thatcher.

Renowned novelist David Peace, author of The Damned United and the Red Riding Quartet, was at the launch to announce the eclectic and exciting shortlist. Peace is one of the judges for the prize, along with journalist Deborah Orr and novelist and broadcaster Mark Lawson.

The 2013 shortlist, which includes fiction and non-fiction, from small and big publishers alike, and authors from all over the UK, is:

How I Killed Margaret Thatcher by Anthony Cartwright (Tindal Street Press)
The Footballer Who Could Fly by Duncan Hamilton (Century)
?People Who Eat Darkness by Richard Lloyd Parry (Jonathan Cape)
?Pig Iron by Benjamin Myers (Blue Moose Books)
Myra, Beyond Saddleworth by Jean Rafferty (Wild Wolf Publishing)

The winner will be announced on 19 October at a special event during Durham Book Festival at 6.30pm in Durham Town Hall, with the shortlisted authors reading from their work accompanied by music from Field Music’s Dave Brewis. Tickets go on sale from 10am on Thursday 8 August. For full details of the festival, including how to buy tickets for this and all the other events, see

Please see the Gordon Burn Trust website for further details on The Gordon Burn Prize as well as information on Gordon’s work.

?Shortlisted authors

ANTHONY CARTWRIGHT was born in Dudley in 1973. He is the author of the critically acclaimed novels The Afterglow and Heartland. He worked as an English teacher in East London for a number of years and is currently a school writer-in-residence as part of the First Story project. He lives in North London with his wife and son.

DUNCAN HAMILTON is the author of Provided You Don’t Kiss Me: 20 Years with Brian Clough, which won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year for 2007. In 2009 he was awarded the William Hill again, for Harold Larwood, as well as winning the prestigious Wisden Book of the Year for 2009 and Biography of the Year at the 2010 British Sports Book Awards. He lives in the Yorkshire Dales.

RICHARD LLOYD PARRY was born in 1969 and educated at Oxford. He has been visiting Asia for 18 years and since 1995 has lived in Tokyo as a foreign correspondent, first for the Independent and now as Asia editor for The Times. He has reported from 21 countries and several wars, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Indonesia, East Timor, North Korea, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, Kosovo and Macedonia. His work has also appeared in the London Review of Books and the New York Times magazine. He is the author of In The Time of Madness, an eyewitness account of the violence that erupted in Indonesia in the 1990s.

BENJAMIN MYERS was born in Durham in 1976. His previous novel Richard (Picador, 2010) was a Sunday Times book of the year and Pig Iron was the runner-up in The Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize. He won a Northern Writers’ Award 2013. He works as a freelance journalist and lives in Calderdale, West Yorkshire.

JEAN RAFFERTY has worked as a journalist for over 25 years. She has been nominated for numerous awards including being shortlisted twice for Feature Writer of the Year at the British Press Awards and winning the Travelex Travel Writing Award, the Rosemary Goodchild Award, the Norwich Union Medical Journalism Award and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation journalist’s fellowship. Rafferty is the author of two non-fiction books on sport – The Cruel Game and Ladies of the Court, with Virginia Wade. She is chair of Scottish PEN’s Writers in Prison committee and visited Turkey in February 2005 as an international observer at the trial of dissident writer and publisher Ragip Zarakolu.