Shortlist 2023/24

  • Rory Carroll: Killing Thatcher

    The first major book to be written about the Brighton bombing, the most ambitious conspiracy since the Gunpowder Plot and which was intended to kill Margaret Thatcher and the British Cabinet. Rory Carroll blends true crime with political history, shedding light on a corner of British and Irish history most are familiar with, but few know.

  • Jonathan Escoffery: If I Survive You

    This dazzling collection of interconnected stories follows a Jamaican family in Miami; exploring racism, recession and rivalry, If I Survive You envisions a family pushed to breaking point. Escoffery’s work is filled with wit and astute social commentary and is at points gruesome and others hopeful. It is a masterfully crafted debut.

  • Anna Funder: Wifedom

    This is the story of Eileen O’Shaughnessy, a woman whose brilliance has influenced some of major literary works of the last century. Yet she is absent from history. Anna Funder brings this life to light and, in doing so, raises questions about the hidden work of women from the past as well as the present.

  • Megan Nolan: Ordinary Human Failings

    After the death of a young girl, a reclusive Irish family is brought under scrutiny by the tabloid. This forces Carmel to confront her family’s secrets which have been kept hidden for generations. Nolan’s second novel is daring and beautiful and establishes her as a unique voice of contemporary fiction.

  • John Niven: O Brother

    John Niven’s memoir is a tender, heart-breaking and hilarious story which ranges from a working-class childhood, raves in the 90s and a family suicide. Tracing the life of John Niven’s younger brother, Gary, who committed suicide after a life plagued with drugs, bankruptcy and prison, O Brother explores the feelings of guilt and regret which haunt those left behind after suicide.

  • Kathryn Scanlan: Kick the Latch

    Built upon interviews with a horse trainer, Scanlan crafts a concise work of fiction which vividly chronicles the life of Sonia and highlights how seemingly ordinary people can live extraordinary lives. Kick the Latch is a fast-paced, experimental novel which expertly captures Sonia’s idiosyncrasies and flair as a storyteller.

  • Tanya Tagaq: Split Tooth

    A mix of fiction, memoir, poetry and Inuit folklore, Split Tooth is a story about a young Inuk girl who grows up in an Arctic town during the 1970s and who must navigate this strange and gritty world. This debut is filled with haunting and exhilarating prose and is accompanied by beautiful illustrations.

Past Shortlists


Constructing a Nervous System
Margo Jefferson
Pantheon Books

Case Study
Graeme Macrae Burnet

Preti Taneja
And Other Stories

About a Son
David Whitehouse
Orion Publishing

Free: Coming of Age at the End of History
Lea Ypi
Penguin Books


A Ghost in the Throat
Doireann Ní Ghríofa
Tramp Press

A Little Devil in America
Hanif Abdurraqib
Penguin Press

Come Join Our Disease
Sam Byers

Jenni Fagan
William Heinemann

Mrs Death Misses Death
Salena Godden

Sea State
Tabitha Lasley


Notes Made While Falling
Jenn Ashworth
Goldsmiths Press

Rainbow Milk
Paul Mendez
Little, Brown Book Group

Deborah Orr
Orion Publishing Group

This Is Not Propaganda
Peter Pomerantsev
Faber & Faber

My Name Is Why
Lemn Sissay
Canongate Books

Three Women
Lisa Taddeo
Bloomsbury Publishing


For the Good Times
David Keenan

Girl, Woman, Other
Bernardine Evaristo
Hamish Hamilton

Heads of the Colored People
Nafissa Thompson-Spires
Chatto & Windus

Max Porter

The Silence of the Girls
Pat Barker

This Brutal House
Niven Govinden


Jesse Ball
Granta Books

Nicola Barker
William Heinemann

In Our Mad and Furious City
Guy Gunaratne
Tinder Press

Olivia Laing
Pan Macmillan/Picador

The Cost of Living
Deborah Levy
Hamish Hamilton

I’ll be Gone in the Dark
Michelle McNamara
Faber & Faber


Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe
Kapka Kassabova
Granta Books

This is Memorial Device
David Keenan
Faber & Faber

The Long Drop
Denise Mina
Harvill Secker

This is the Place to Be
Lara Pawson
CB Editions

First Love
Gwendoline Riley
Granta Books

Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile
Adelle Stripe
Wrecking Ball Press


A Woman on the Edge of Time
Jeremy Gavron

The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone
Olivia Laing

Ottessa Moshfegh
Jonathan Cape

Anatomy of a Soldier
Harry Parker
Faber and Faber

All That Man Is
David Szalay
Jonathan Cape

And the Sun Shines Now: How Hillsborough and the Premier League Changed Britain
Adrian Tempany
Faber and Faber


In Plain Sight: The Life and Lies of Jimmy Savile
Dan Davies

Honor Gavin
Penned in the Margins

Noon Tide Toll
Romesh Gunesekera
Granta Books

Original Rockers
Richard King
Faber & Faber

Nothing is True and Everything is Possible
Peter Pomerantsev
Faber & Faber


The Valley
Richard Benson

The Kills
Richard House

The Wake
Paul Kingsnorth

The Trip to Echo Spring
Olivia Laing

American Interior
Gruff Rhys
Hamish Hamilton

The Free
Willy Vlautin
Faber & Faber


How I Killed Margaret Thatcher
Anthony Cartwright
Tindal Street Press

The Footballer Who Could Fly
Duncan Hamilton

People Who Eat Darkness
Richard Lloyd Parry
Jonathan Cape

Pig Iron
Benjamin Myers
Blue Moose Books

Myra, Beyond Saddleworth
Jean Rafferty
Wild Wolf Publishing