2019 Winner: Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann
"Ducks, Newburyport is that rare thing: a book which, not long after its publication, one can unhesitatingly call a masterpiece. In her gripping and hypnotic book, Ellmann remakes the novel and expands the reader’s idea of what is possible with the form. We are lucky to have such a winner this year" Erica Wagner, Chair of the Judges.
More about Ducks, Newburyport
About the Shortlist
The Goldsmiths Prize is now in its seventh year—lucky number seven, with such a terrific shortlist.
From the vast eidetic capaciousness of Lucy Ellman's Ducks, Newburyport to the slender and hectic compression of Isabel Waidner’s We Are Made Of Diamond Stuff, this year’s selection of six books not only offers a reminder that the novel remains a flexible and innovative form, but reflects our 21st-century political and cultural concerns.
Deborah Levy’s The Man Who Saw Everything asks what it means to see politics and culture, venturing from East Berlin just before the fall of the Wall to post-Brexit Britain; Mark Haddon’s The Porpoise begins like a thriller but veers into the mythic echoes that underpin all our lives.
Amy Arnold’s Slip of a Fish deconstructs an English summer through the haunted consciousness of its protagonist and Vesna Main's Good Day? uses dialogue alone to ask that deceptively simple question: who gets to tell the story?
This list is a fascinating snapshot of the best British and Irish fiction around.
(Dr Erica Wagner, Chair of Judges)
Note: Erica Wagner took over as chair in May 2019 after Maura Dooley withdrew due to ill health.