The PFD Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award shortlist for 2017 has been announced today. This year, the official judges have selected five books rather than four and they are:
Outlandish Knight: The Byzantine Life of Steven Runciman by Minoo Dinshaw (biography)
The End of the Day by Claire North (novel)
The Lucky Ones by Julianne Pachico (short stories)
Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney (novel)
The Lauras by Sara Taylor (novel)
I am very pleased ‘Conversations with Friends’ by Sally Rooney has been shortlisted as I read it earlier this year and really enjoyed it. I have also read ‘The Lauras’ by Sara Taylor but I haven’t reviewed it yet. Taylor was shortlisted in 2015 for her excellent first book The Shore so it is great to see further recognition for her work as her career develops.
While the majority of young writers are shortlisted for either their first or second books, Catherine Webb, writing under the pseudonym Claire North, is already a prolific novelist at the age of 31 and ‘The End of the Day’ is her fifth novel as North, having also written several other YA novels under her own name and fantasy novels under another pseudonym as Kate Griffin.
Julianne Pachico was involved in the unofficial bloggers shadow panel for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2015 and I am looking forward to reading her debut collection of interlinked short stories set in Colombia. I am also really pleased that a non-fiction book has been selected this year as the two previous shortlists since the relaunch of the prize have only featured fiction and poetry. Minoo Dinshaw’s hefty biography of Byzantine historian Steven Runciman is said to be fascinating, even if you’re not familiar with Runciman’s life and career.
Myself and my fellow shadow panel bloggers Rebecca, Annabel, Dane and Eleanor will be reading and reviewing the shortlist over the next few weeks before revealing our winner on 29th November. What do you think of this year’s shortlist?