2020 Winner: The Sunken Land Begins to Rise Again by M. John Harrison
“M. John Harrison has produced a literary masterpiece that will continue to be read in 100 years time, if the planet survives that long” Frances Wilson, Chair of Judges.
About the Shortlist
From D B C Pierre’s smarting satire of smartphone culture to Paul Griffith’s elegant imagining of Beethoven in Boston, the six books shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize 2020 are concerned with characters in extremis and loss of moorings. While Monique Roffey’s 'The Mermaid of Black Conch' blends 'Moby Dick' with 'Metamorphosis' in a polyphonic reflection on racial and sexual identity, M John Harrison’s 'The Sunken Land Begins to Rise Again' returns us to 'The Water Babies' in a fishy tale of hallucinogenic beauty and strangeness. Xiaolu Guo’s 'A Lover’s Discourse' places Roland Barthes in Brexit Britain in a delicate and witty love story between East and West, and Anakana Schofield’s 'Bina', a black comedy about euthanasia, is told as a series of warnings scribbled on the backs of envelopes by a woman who has had enough –a feeling many of us can share in these fragile and fractured times.
Dr Frances Wilson, Chair of Judges