Dylan Thomas literary prize longlist unveiled

A model of Dylan Thomas with the 12 books Image copyright Swansea University
Image caption There are eight women and four men on the nominee longlist

A Swansea-born nurse-turned-novelist and a Costa novel award winner are among 12 nominees on the International Dylan Thomas Prize longlist.

The £30,000 award run by Swansea University is awarded to the best published literary work written by an author aged 39 or under.

The list is made up of eight women and four men from around the world.

It comprises eight novels, two short story collections and two poetry collections.

The shortlist will be announced on 2 April and the prize will be awarded on 16 May.

The longlisted writers are:

  • Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, from New York, for his first book Friday Black, a collection of short stories.
  • Michael Donkor, born in London to Ghanaian parents, for his debut novel Hold.
  • Clare Fisher, born in London, for short story collection How the Light Gets In.
  • Zoe Gilbert, for her debut novel Folk. She won the Costa Short Story Award 2014.
  • Emma Glass, for her first book Peach. She was born in Swansea and studied writing in Kent, before training as a nurse.
  • Guy Gunaratne, who lives between London and Sweden, for his first novel In Our Mad and Furious City, which was also longlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
  • Louisa Hall, from Philadelphia in the US for her third novel Trinity.
  • Sarah Perry, who lives in Norwich, for her novel Melmoth. She has previously been shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Award and Costa Novel Award.
  • Sally Rooney, who lives in Dublin, for her second novel Normal People, which was longlisted for the Man Booker prize in 2018.
  • Richard Scott, from London, for his first poetry book Soho.
  • Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, who grew up in Zimbabwe, for her first novel House of Stone.
  • Jenny Xie, who lives in New York, has been nominated for her poetry book Eye Level.
Image copyright Sarah Lee
Image caption Swansea-born Emma Glass has made the list for her first book, Peach

The judging panel of the prize, which was launched in 2006, is chaired by Prof Dai Smith CBE, Emeritus Raymond Williams Research Chair in the Cultural History of Wales at Swansea University.

This year's panel also features poet Prof Kurt Heinzelman, BBC Radio books editor Di Speirs and award-winning author Kit de Waal.

'Starburst of talent'

Prof Smith described the list as a "starburst of young literary talent".

"[They are] writers from across the world, from diverse communities and backgrounds, tackle challenging subject matter in ways both unexpected and exhilarating, through short stories, novels or poetry, in folk tale or Gothic mode, with a contemporary scalpel or an historical viewfinder."

Last year's winner was Zambian-born British poet Kayo Chingonyi for his debut poetry collection Kumukanda, which explored black masculinity and rites of passage for young black men in Britain.

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