The Guardian First Book Award does a great job surfacing interesting debuts in both the fiction and non-fiction categories. The longlist came out last week. The winner will be announced in November. The 2013 winner was Donal Ryan for his unique novel, The Spinning Heart and in 2012 it went to Kevin Powers for The Yellow Birds, a book I reviewed last year and really loved.
You can view the complete 2014 longlist at the bottom of this Guardian article. Of the fiction titles, Zia Haider Rahman’s In the Light of What We Know and Fiona McFarlane’s The Night Guest have been widely reviewed. This was the first I had heard of Sarah Perry’s, After Me Comes the Flood, which was published by a small press in the UK (Serpent’s Tail) and tells the story of a man who, after his car breaks down, stumbles onto a home in the woods where he finds all of his belongings. The story is described as surreal and moving, reminiscent of Sebald.
On the non-fiction side, there was a memoir that stood out to me, Henry Marsh’s Do No Harm, which recounts his life and work as a neurosurgeon.
Happy summer reading all…a new review to come next week…