Shortlist announced for Gordon Burn Prize 2020

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The shortlist has been announced for the Gordon Burn Prize, the literary prize that recognises the year’s boldest, most ambitious and uncompromising work.

The Gordon Burn Prize was founded in 2012 and is run in partnership by the Gordon Burn Trust, New Writing North, Faber & Faber and Durham Book Festival. The prize seeks to celebrate those who follow in the footsteps of the groundbreaking author Gordon Burn, who died in 2009 and whose work includes Happy Like Murderers, Alma Cogan and Born Yesterday.

Eight years on from the prize’s inception, it has become one of the most highly anticipated prizes on the literary landscape. Previous winners include David Keenan, For the Good Times (2019); Jesse Ball, Census (2018); and Denise Mina, The Long Drop (2017).

Through both fiction and non-fiction, the 2020 shortlist takes the reader on an unflinching journey through race, sexuality and class. It probes into some of our most complex relationships, most troubling politics and profoundest sources of identity as it ranges from global power play to the broken care system.

The shortlist for the Gordon Burn Prize 2020 is:

Jenn Ashworth, Notes Made While Falling (Goldsmiths Press)

Paul Mendez, Rainbow Milk (Dialogue Books)

Deborah Orr, Motherwell (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)

Peter Pomerantsev, This Is Not Propaganda (Faber & Faber)

Lemn Sissay, My Name Is Why (Canongate)

Lisa Taddeo, Three Women (Bloomsbury)

The writers Anthony Anaxagorou and Richard T. Kelly, artist Rachel Howard and journalist and broadcaster Sali Hughes are the judges of the Gordon Burn Prize 2020. They will announce the winner at a digital event on 15 October 2020 at Durham Book Festival, which is an annual event commissioned by Durham County Council.

Congratulations to all the shortlisted writers!