The Irish authors Naoise Dolan and Caoilinn Hughes have been longlisted for one of the world’s largest literary awards for young writers: the Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize.
It is awarded for the best published literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under.
London-based Naoise Dolan is recognised for her fiercely funny debut Exciting Times that casts a compelling eye on relationships, class, identity, and modern love. Dolan took the literary world by storm last year. Caoilinn Hughes is up for her powerful second novel The Wild Laughter, offering a sharp snapshot of a family and nation in the wake of the Celtic Tiger devastation.
Born in Dublin, Naoise Dolan has studied English Literature at Trinity College Dublin and Oxford University. She had just finished writing Exciting Times when she was diagnosed with autism and has spoken about the wrong and ableist way people talk about those on the spectrum.
Caoilinn Hughes’ first novel Orchid & the Wasp won the Collyer Bristow Prize 2019 and was shortlisted for the Hearst Big Book Awards, the Butler Literary Award and was longlisted for the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award and the International DUBLIN Literary Award.
The Wild Laughter was also shortlisted for the An Post Irish Book Awards’ Novel of the Year, the RTÉ Radio 1 Listener’s Choice Award 2020.
The full list is made up by Alligator and Other Stories by Dima Alzayat, Antiemetic for Homesickness by Romalyn Ante, If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha, Kingdomtide by Rye Curtis, The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi, Rendang by Will Harris, Who They Was by Gabriel Krauze, Pew by Catherine Lacey, Luster by Raven Leilani and My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell.
The judges are Irish poet poet Stephen Sexton, Namita Gokhale, Syima Aslam, Joshua Ferris and Francesca Rhydderch. The shortlist announcement will take place on March 25th, with the winner of the £20,000 prize revealed on May 13th, the eve of International Dylan Thomas Day.