Desmond Elliott Prize 2020 Winner

It is our great pleasure to confirm That Reminds Me by Derek Owusu as the winner of the Desmond Elliott Prize 2020.

Utterly original and audacious in its construction, Owusu’s exploration of identity and belonging through fragmentary memory holds the reader spellbound throughout. Boldly experimenting with poetic form and the essence of fictionalised biography, That Reminds Me is a revelatory tour de force.

 

‘The judges and I were as shattered by the truths of the story as we were moved by the talent of its writer. Derek Owusu has given us a unique, profound and transcendent work of literature: we want as many readers as possible to discover it – once they do, they will return to again and again.’

PRETI TANEJA, CHAIR OF JUDGES

The Shortlist

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Fierce, eye-opening and unforgettable, this stunning debut from Nigerian Abi Dare is a story about shaping a self under exceptionally difficult circumstances. Offering empowerment for all those who struggle to be heard, The Girl with a Louding Voice is a paean to the might of words and the courage to dream.

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Full of wit, humour and tenderness, The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney is a powerful meditation on youth, race and sexuality. Nzelu writes with confidence and piercing insight about the delicate negotiation of an identity between two cultures. Generous, profound and uplifting all at once, The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney announces the arrival of a dazzling new voice in fiction.

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A work which defies easy categorisation, Owusu’s incendiary coming-of-age tale is an intensely raw yet lyrical narrative, relayed in clipped, precise fragments. Playing with rhythm and structure with staggering assurance, That Reminds Me is an urgent slice of social realism from a hugely exciting new literary talent.

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The Longlist

The Art of the Body
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The Girl with the Louding Voice
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Nobber
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The Parisian
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Paperback
Keeper
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£14.99
Hardback
The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney
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That Reminds Me
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Asghar and Zahra
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£12.99
Paperback
KOZLOWSKI
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£16.99
Hardback
Love and Other Thought Experiments
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Paperback

Previous Prize Winners

Golden Child
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We That Are Young
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Golden Hill
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The Glorious Heresies
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Our Endless Numbered Days
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A Girl is a Half-formed Thing
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The Marlowe Papers
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The Land of Decoration
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Saraswati Park
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The Girl with Glass Feet
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Blackmoor
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Gifted
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£8.99
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