2015 Desmond Elliott Prize Shortlist Revealed
Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey, A Song for Issy Bradley by Carys Bray and Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller have been chosen from a longlist of ten books to make up an all female shortlist for this year's Desmond Elliott Prize.
Now in its eighth year, the award has an established record for spotting up-and-coming novelists in the UK and Ireland and propelling them to greater recognition and success. Last year's winner was Eimear McBride, author of the critically lauded A Girl is a Half-formed Thing. Other past winners include Grace McCleen, Anjali Joseph, Edward Hogan and Ali Shaw.
All three shortlisted books are fantastic debuts novels that grab the reader from the start. In A Song for Issy Bradley, the death of a Mormon family's youngest child causes them to begin to question their faith while in Our Endless Numbered Days a survivalist takes his daughter away from society to prepare for the end of all humanity. Finally in Elizabeth is Missing, a woman with dementia slips from the present day back to the mysterious wartime disappearance of her sister.
Chair of judges Louise Doughty said: “Our deliberations were long and heartfelt but we've come up with a shortlist of three fantastic books of which we are immensely proud. The books we eventually chose are all remarkably fully achieved first novels – we would defy any reader to guess they were debuts. Each book has a compulsive narrative, characters you really care about and language that sings off the page – it's the combination of all three skills that shows these are all novelists with great futures ahead of them.”
Louise Doughty is joined on the judging panel by bookseller Jonathan Ruppin and journalist and author Viv Groskop. The winner will be revealed at a ceremony at Fortnum & Mason on 1 July, where they will be presented with a cheque for £10,000.