The good news just keeps coming! Hannah Kohler's debut novel is among the 12 literary works to reach the longlist for the 2017 International Dylan Thomas Prize. The prize is awarded for the best published literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under. The prize is named after the Swansea-born writer, Dylan Thomas, and celebrates his 39 years of creativity and productivity. One of the most influential, internationally-renowned writers of the mid-twentieth century, the prize invokes his memory to support the writers of today and nurture the talents of tomorrow.
Jeannie is nineteen when the world changes, Kip only fourteen. The sudden accident that robs them of their mother leaves them adrift, with only their father to guide them. Jeannie seeks escape in work and later marriage to a man whose social connections propel her into an unfamiliar world of wealth and politics. Ill-equipped and unprepared, Jeannie finds comfort where she can. Meanwhile Kip's descent into a life of petty crime is halted only when he volunteers for the Marines.
By 1968, the conflict in Vietnam is at its height, and with the anti-war movement raging at home, Jeannie and Kip are swept along by events larger than themselves, driven by disillusionment to commit unforgiveable acts of betrayal that will leave permanent scars.
The Outside Lands is the story of people caught in the slipstream of history, how we struggle in the face of loss to build our world, and how easily and with sudden violence it can be swept away. With extraordinary skill and accuracy, Hannah Kohler takes us from 1960s California to Vietnam, capturing what it means to live through historic times. This powerful debut novel announces Kohler as a remarkable new literary talent.
This years' long list comprises of: six novels, four short story collections, and two volumes of poetry. Good luck Hannah!
Anuk Arudpragasm - The Story of a Brief Marriage (Granta)
Alys Conran - Pigeon (Parthian)
Jonathan Safran Foer - Here I Am (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Yaa Gyasi - Homegoing (Alfred A Knopf)
Benjamin Hale - The Fat Artist and Other Stories (Picador)
Luke Kennard - Cain (Penned in the Margins)
Hannah Kohler - The Outside Lands (Picador)
Fiona McFarlane - The High Places (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Helen Oyeyemi - What is Not Yours is Not Yours (Picador)
Sarah Perry - The Essex Serpent (Serpent’s Tail)
Safiya Sinclair - Cannibal (University of Nebraska Press)
Callan Wink - Dog Run Moon: Stories (Granta)