Elnathan John Makes The 2017 Betty Trask Prize Shortlist

The Society of Authors has announced the 2017 shortlist for the Betty Trask Prize and Awards. This year’s shortlist of six debut literary novels by authors under the age of 35 includes Elnathan John’s Born on a Tuesday . The judges said of BOAT: ‘A tough, topical, directly-written book, devoid of sentimentality, and yet engaging, troubling and sad. The sense of place is wholly immersive, conjuring the villages and roads of troubled Nigeria with a deft and effortless touch.’

Elnathan John
 Other authors on the shortlist are: Rowan Hisayo Buchanan –Harmless Like You (Sceptre / Hodder & Stoughton), Kathleen Jowitt – Speak its Name (self-published), Rob McCarthy – The Hollow Men (Mulholland Books / Hodder & Stoughton), Barney Norris – Five Rivers Meet on a Wooded Plain(Transworld) and Daniel Shand – Fallow(Sandstone Press Limited).

The judges this year were authors Simon Brett, Michéle Roberts and Joanne Harris. Commenting on the shortlist, Michéle Roberts said:
'The merchants of gloom keep declaring that the novel is dead but people do keep on writing them. The entries for this year's Betty Trask Prize formed a particularly rich and varied collection. The shortlist features pleasingly original approaches to novel-writing and is characterised by diversity of subject, tone and voice, by the authors' passion, intelligence and deep commitment to their art.'

The Betty Trask Awards are given annually to the best first novelists under the age of 35. Betty Trask left a bequest to the Society of Authors in 1983 to celebrate young authors writing in a traditional or romantic style. This year a total of £25,000 in prize money will be distributed. Previous winners include Zadie Smith, Hari Kunzru and David Szalay.

This year’s winner, to be announced at the SoA Authors’ Awards on 20 June, will receive £10,000, while the other shortlisted authors will each receive a Betty Trask Award worth £3,000. The Prize and Awards will be presented by Ben Okri.
Details on www.societyofauthors.org