Born in 1948 in Newcastle, Burn was one of the most innovative and courageous writers of his age, writing about some of the country’s most controversial figures, including Fred and Rose West, Peter Sutcliffe and Margaret Thatcher. The Gordon Burn Prize, set up by his family, New Writing North and publisher Faber & Faber, is awarded to a published title (fiction or non-fiction) which captures Gordon’s spirit and sensibility. In short, literature which challenges notions of genre and makes us think again about what we are reading.
Announced yesterday, the longlist for the Gordon Burn Prize 2015 is an impressive collection of writers, including Hilary Mantel, Martin Amis and Paul Ewen (whose novel Francis Plug questions how it is possible to be an author in the public eye).
The list includes novels by Honor Gavin (Midland), Scott McCloud (The Sculptor) and Simon Rich (Spoiled Brats). But there are also a number of works of insightful non-fiction, such as Dan Davies’ rather unnerving In Plain Sight: The Life and Lies of Jimmy Savile, Sam Delaney’s Mad Men and Bad Men: What Happened when British Politics met Advertising and Sarah Thornton’s study of contemporary art, 33 Artists in 3 Acts.
The longlist was chosen from 136 entries by this year’s judging panel, made up of authors Roddy Doyle and Doug Johnstone, journalist Suzanne Moore, artist Gavin Turk and actress Maxine Peake.
The winner of the Gordon Burn Prize 2015 will receive a cheque for £5,000 plus a three-month writing retreat in Gordon Burn’s cottage in the Scottish Borders. The winner will be announced on 9th October at Durham Book Festival.
For more information visit www.newwritingnorth.com
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