Today’s top book news item:
The shortlist for the £30,000 Dylan Thomas Prize, which “is awarded to the best published or produced literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under,” is out. Critical favorites such as Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries, Joshua Ferris’ To Rise Again at a Decent Hour and Eimear McBride’s A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing share space with less well-known works: Kseniya Melnik’s Snow in May, Kei Miller’s The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion, Owen Sheers’ play Mametz and Naomi Wood’s Mrs. Hemingway.
This is the first year the age limit was raised to 39 – the age at which Dylan Thomas died – rather than 30, as in previous years. “Every work on the shortlist had a champion,” chair of judges Peter Florence told The Guardian. “I think there are several really challenging pieces of writing here that would have won in any of the other years I’ve been judging, and that bear comparison with Thomas’s best work.”