Goldsmiths Prize 2016 shortlist - six works of fiction at its most novel

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The shortlist for the Goldsmiths Prize 2016 has been revealed.

Innovative and daring: the six shortlisted works.

The six titles are: 

  • Transit by Rachel Cusk, published by Jonathan Cape
  • The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride, published by Faber and Faber
  • Solar Bones by Mike McCormack, published by Tramp Press
  • Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun by Sarah Ladipo Manyika, published by Cassava Republic
  • Hot Milk by Deborah Levy, published by Hamish Hamilton
  • Martin John by Anakana Schofield, published by And Other Stories

The winner of the £10,000 prize rewarding fiction at its most novel will be announced at a ceremony at Foyles in central London on 9 November 2016.

From an initial 111 submissions, the shortlisted works were chosen by the judges for embodying the spirit of invention that characterises the novel genre at its best.

The Goldsmiths Prize 2016 judging panel was made up of Chair of Judges Professor Blake Morrison and writers Bernadine Evaristo, Erica Wagner and Joanna Walsh.

Professor Morrison, Professor of Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths, said: “Innovative novels used to suffer from the stigma of ‘difficulty’ but one thing we’ve learned since the Goldsmiths Prize was launched four years ago is what a large and responsive readership they reach.

“Narrowed down from an entry of 111 titles, it’s a list the judges arrived at without rancour or compromise, and one that demonstrates the healthy state of British and Irish fiction today.”

The Goldsmiths Prize was launched in 2013 with the goal of celebrating the spirit of creative daring associated with the University and to reward fiction that breaks the mould or extends the possibilities of the novel form. Works by authors from the UK and Republic of Ireland are eligible for the award.

Eimear McBride was the first winner of the £10,000 prize for her work A Girl Is A Half-formed Thing. The Irish writer is shortlisted this year.

Subsequent winners were Ali Smith in 2014 for How to Be Both and Kevin Barry in 2015 for Beatlebone.

The Goldsmiths Prize was founded by Goldsmiths in association with the New Statesman.

The shortlist was announced at the inaugural Goldsmiths Prize / New Statesman lecture delivered by author Howard Jacobson. Speaking ahead of the lecture, Jacbson said: “I admire the Goldsmiths Prize. It seeks out boldness in the novel and rewards it. And I am grateful to it.  

“It shortlisted my novel J two years ago, and now it grants me the honour of inaugurating a new series of lectures by novelists on why novels matter.  

“In my view, they have never mattered more.”

Culture Editor of the New Statesman Tom Gatti said: “Without ambitious, risky, experimental books such as those on the Goldsmiths Prize shortlist, the novel would lose its magic - and the review pages of magazines such as the New Statesman would be much duller. We are pleased to continue to support this inspiring literary award.”