It was announced today that The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone by Olivia Laing, an “electric, dazzling” investigation into what it means to be alone, has been shortlisted for the 2016 Gordon Burn Prize.
Launched in 2012 to remember the late Faber author who wrote across a wide range of subjects, from celebrity to serial killers and politics to contemporary art, The Gordon Burn Prize seeks to celebrate the writing of those whose work follows in his footsteps.
The winner will be announced on Friday 7th October at the opening of Durham Book Festival, a Durham County Council festival produced by New Writing North. The winning writer will receive a cheque for £5,000 and the opportunity to undertake a writing retreat of up to three months at Gordon Burn’s cottage in the Scottish borders.
Also shortlisted are the Man Booker Prize-longlisted titles All That Man Is by David Szalay and Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh, And The Sun Shines Now by Harry Parker and A Woman on the Edge of Time: A Son’s Search for his Mother by Jeremy Gavron.
The judges of the 2016 prize are the novelists Jenn Ashworth and William Boyd, journalist and writer Rachel Cooke, and the artist and author Harland Miller.
Ashworth said: “It’s been an honour and a fascinating privilege to be involved in reading and discussing such a varied and accomplished selection of books for this year’s prize. I admire Gordon Burn’s work for its uncompromising precision, its fearlessness and its humanity. On the shortlist we have fine examples of writers working across a number of genres and in both fiction and non-fiction who we believe are working with that same commitment to truth-telling and have created works which explore who and why we are, without sentiment or cynicism.”
Boyd praised the “wonderfully rich and eclectic shortlist”, saying that “every book is a genuine contender”.