The Dylan Thomas Prize Longlist 2024

On Thursday, the longlist for the, to give it its full title, Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize 2024 was revealed, and as I’ve come to expect, it is an eclectic and wide-ranging list of books by young authors (written in English, and under the age of 39 – ie that of Dylan Thomas when he died). Without further ado, the books are:

  • A Spell of Good Things by Ayòbámi Adébáyò(Canongate Books) – novel (Nigeria)
  • Small Worlds by Caleb Azumah Nelson (Viking, Penguin Random House UK)– novel (UK/Ghana)
  • The Glutton by A. K. Blakemore (Granta) – novel (England, UK)
  • Bright Fear by Mary Jean Chan (Faber & Faber) – poetry collection (Hong Kong)
  • Penance by Eliza Clark (Faber & Faber) – novel (England, UK)
  • The Coiled Serpent by Camilla Grudova (Atlantic Books) – short story collection (Canada)
  • Hungry Ghosts by Kevin Jared Hosein (Bloomsbury Publishing UK/Ecco, HarperCollins US) – novel (Trinidad and Tobago)
  • Local Fires by Joshua Jones (Parthian Books) – short story collection (Wales, UK)
  • Biography of X by Catherine Lacey (Granta) – novel (US)
  • Close to Home by Michael Magee (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House UK) – novel (Northern Ireland, UK)
  • Open Up by Thomas Morris (Faber & Faber) – short story collection (Wales, UK)
  • Divisible by Itself and One by Kae Tempest (Picador, Pan Macmillan) – poetry collection (England, UK)

Seven novels, two poetry and three short story collections, including nine from indie publishers feature. The shortlist will be announced on March 21st, with the prize awarded on May 16th. This is one of my favourite prizes to follow each year. I may not have time to read many choices from the long or short lists, but add most of the titles to my wishlist.

Whilst I haven’t happened to have read any of them yet, I own copies of The Coiled Serpent by Camilla Grudova and Small World by Caleb Azumah Nelson, and I plan to read them soon. I’m keen to read Chan’s poetry collection too, they are Oxford-based and came to do a workshop at our senior school last year.

I rather loved Grudova’s first novel Children of Paradise (review here), so I’m expecting fireworks from her short stories, and I really fell for Nelson’s debut, Open Water (review here), a simply wonderful novella which used the second person narrative style so well.

Which of the others would you choose?

6 thoughts on “The Dylan Thomas Prize Longlist 2024

  1. Laura says:

    I’ve, surprisingly, read three of the seven novels: A Spell of Good Things (OK), Close to Home (good) and Penance (brilliant). I haven’t got on with Grudova and Nelson in the past so I’ll be skipping those, but Biography of X appeals!

  2. BookerTalk says:

    I don’t have any experience with these to offer any suggestions sorry. But there are a few here that have caught my eye such as the Ayòbámi Adébáyò. The books I’ve read by other Nigerian authors have all been good so I’m hoping this proves just as interesting

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