The Sunday Times/ Peters Fraser & Dunlop Young Writer Of The Year Prize

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Sunday Times and Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year 2017 Winner: Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney


Conversations with Friends

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Emerging from a superb shortlist, Sally Rooney’s acclaimed debut novel Conversations with Friends has clinched The Sunday Times and Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award 2017.

At its heart, Conversations with Friends is a highly knowing story of friendship, jealousy and love. Frances and Bobbi: sometime lovers, now best of friends, orbiting each other’s young lives with a certain complimentary purpose. When Melissa enters – Melissa, and her quietly attractive actor husband Nick – two gradually become four, as Frances finds herself pulled into infidelity, abandoning her shield of irony and control.

 

"It is a narrative of self-discovery, as you might expect from the protagonist’s age. But that is about the only expectation that isn’t subverted in this tireless, probing and, above all, highly intelligent novel."

The Sunday Times

 

With critical praise already aligning Sally Rooney with the likes of J.D. Salinger and Bret Easton Ellis, Conversations with Friends looks to be the foundation stone to a genuinely intriguing writing future: we congratulate the author on a magnificent win.

The 2017 Shortlist

The year's submissions list was so strong that the jury made a rare exception, and shortlisted five, rather than the usual four authors for the prize. Featuring three novels, a collection of short stories and a biography, today those five have been announced.

 

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The biography of one of the greatest British historians - but also of a uniquely strange and various man. In his enormously long life, Steven Runciman managed not just to be a great historian of the Crusades and Byzantium, but Grand Orator of the Orthodox Church, a member of the Order of Whirling Dervishes, Greek Astronomer Royal and Laird of Eigg.

This is an extremely funny book about a man who attracted the strangest experiences, but also a very serious one. It is about the rigours of a life spent in the distant past, but also about the turbulent world of the twentieth century, where so much that Runciman studied and cherished would be destroyed.

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Charlie meets everyone - but only once.

You might meet him in a hospital, in a warzone, or at the scene of a traffic accident. Then again, you might meet him at the North Pole - Charlie gets everywhere. Sometimes he is sent as a courtesy, sometimes as a warning. Either way, this is going to be the most important meeting of your life.

The End of the Day is the stunning new story from author Claire North: the voice behind the word-of-mouth bestseller The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August.

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The Lucky Ones is Julianne Pachico's haunting debut collection of stories. Set in lush, heady Colombia - and also in a jungle-like New York City - it brings together the fates of guerrilla soldiers, rich kids, rabbits, hostages, bourgeois expats, and drug dealers.

Exploring what makes a victim and what makes a perpetrator, these stories show lives fatefully entwined, despite deep cultural divides.

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Frances, Bobbi, Nick and Melissa ask each other endless questions. As their relationships unfold, in person and online, they discuss sex and friendship, art and literature, politics and gender, and, of course, one another.

Twenty-one-year-old Frances is at the heart of it all, bringing us this tale of a complex menage-a-quatre and her affair with Nick, an older married man.

You can read Conversations with Friends as a romantic comedy, or you can read it as a feminist text. You can read it as a book about infidelity, about the pleasures and difficulties of intimacy, or about how our minds think about our bodies. However you choose to read it, it is an unforgettable novel about the possibility of love.

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I didn't realise my mother was a person until I was thirteen years old and she pulled me out of bed, put me in the back of her car, and we left home and my dad with no explanations. I thought that Ma was all that she was and all that she had ever wanted to be. I was wrong...

As Ma and Alex make their way from Virginia to California, each new state prompts stories and secrets of a life before Alex. Together they put to rest unsettled scores, heal old wounds, and search out lost friends. But Alex can't forget the life they've left behind.
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