Mrs Engels longlisted for Guardian First Book Award

17th August 2015

Gavin McCrea’s Mrs Engels has been long-listed for the 2015 Guardian First Book Award as one of ten débuts selected by judges for their flair and originality. His novel, set in both Manchester and London, imagines a world where Friedrich Engels marries a simple factory worker, Lizzie Burns, whilst joining Karl Marx in stirring up a revolution, and Lizzie’s own heart.

Notably, 6 out of the 10 books selected for the £10,000 prize are published by independent presses, with a further two titles published by major houses in the UK after smaller imprints first picked them up elsewhere. The Guardian’s literary editor, Claire Armistead, commented on how small independent publishers are unearthing ‘new blood’ due to ‘larger houses … finding themselves under increasing pressure to make a commercial case for each acquisition’.

The long-list in full:

MRS ENGELS by Gavin McCrae (Scribe)
MAN V NATURE by Diane Cook (Oneworld)
PHYSICAL by Andrew McMillan (Johnathan Cape)
THE FISH LADDER by Katherine Norbury (Bloomsbury)
THE FISHERMAN by Chigozie Obioma (One, Pushkin Press)
NOTHING IS TRUE AND EVERYHTING IS POSSIBLE by Peter Pomerantsev (Faber)
GRIEF IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS by Max Porter (Faber)
THE SHORE by Sara Taylor (Heinemann/ Windmill)
THE WALLCREEPER by Nell Zink (4th Estate)
SPILL SIMMER FALTER WITHER by Sara Baume (Tramp Press/ Heinemann)

The winner will be announced in late November.

Related Books

Mrs Engels

Mrs Engels

Scribe, 2015