Adébáyò and Clark vie for Prestigious Dylan Thomas Prize

The prestigious Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize, recognising exceptional young writers under 40, unveiled its 2024 longlist, and two names stand out: Ayòbámi Adébáyò and Eliza Clark. These literary lights join nine other authors across novels, short stories and poetry, vying for the coveted £20,000 award.

Adébáyò, no stranger to the Dylan Thomas stage, returns after her 2018 longlisting for Stay With Me. This time, she brings A Spell of Good Things, a captivating exploration of two Nigerian families navigating wealth, power and the stark realities of their society. Her lyrical prose and keen social commentary have garnered her international acclaim, making her a strong contender.

Clark, the 2023 Granta Best Young British Novelist winner, enters the race with Penance. This chilling murder mystery set against the backdrop of Brexit promises suspense and sharp social commentary. Her ability to weave intricate narratives and capture the zeitgeist makes her a name to watch.

The diverse longlist reflects the prize’s global reach. From Trinidad and Tobago to Hong Kong, the shortlisted titles promise a tapestry of voices and perspectives. Award-winning poet Mary Jean Chan from Hong Kong brings her Bright Fear collection, while Kevin Jared Hosein’s Hungry Ghosts takes us to Trinidad. Michael Magee, representing Northern Ireland, offers Close to Home, a poignant exploration of masculinity and class.

The competition is fierce, with established and emerging talents showcasing their diverse styles and themes. Caleb Azumah Nelson, previously shortlisted in 2022, returns with Small Worlds, while debut authors like Joshua Jones and Camilla Grudova bring fresh voices to the mix.

The shortlist announcement on March 21st will narrow the field, building anticipation for the final reveal in May. With such a compelling group, predicting the winner is a game of literary speculation. Will Adébáyò’s experience and acclaimed storytelling edge out Clark’s chilling debut? Or will a dark horse like Magee or Chan surprise the judges?

One thing is certain: the 2024 Dylan Thomas Prize promises to be a showcase of exceptional young talent. Whether you’re a seasoned bibliophile or simply curious about the future of literature, keep your eyes peeled for the shortlist.


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