The International Dylan Thomas Book Prize
Swansea University International Dylan Thomas Prize 2018 Winner:
Kumukanda by Kayo Chingonyi
From a very strong shortlist of six, the tenth Swansea University International Dylan Thomas Prize has been clinched by an evocative collection of verse exploring black masculinity and the rites of passage for young black men in Britain. Kumukanda is the debut collection of Zambian-born British poet Kayo Chingonyi, a volume already ranked by both the Guardian and Telegraph as amongst the finest works published last year..
On receiving the £30,000 award, Chingonyi fittingly recognised the influence of Dylan Thomas on his own writing and was at pains to thank the teachers who gave him the confidence to take his own poetry seriously. On the 65th year of his death, The Dylan Thomas Prize 2018 recognises exceptional writers of every discipline under 39, the untimely age Thomas himself passed.
Drawing on the influence of fairy tale, magic realism and echoing writers from Angela Carter to Helen Oyeyemi, Her Body and Other Parties is a startlingly inventive debut story collection from American author Carmen Maria Machado. Twisting and turning in ever more unexpected ways, these tales track new paths across women’s bodies, minds and imaginations. ‘Not stories that are easily dismissed’ writes the Independent, ‘Machado’s verve shines through in this macabre and erotic collection’.
A searing and powerful consideration of the cost and sacrifice of intimacy, First Love is a sharply honed novel from an author at the height of their powers. Pulling at the strained ties of a marriage between two brittle and embittered thirty-somethings, Riley offers a penetratingly brutal and darkly comic look at the realities of modern love. A book of ‘naked truths, of unvarnished life’, writes the Guardian, ‘a singular, devastating journey into the ungovernable reaches of the heart’.
Waterstones’s Fiction Book of the Month for March 2018, this novel is, remarked the Daily Mail, ‘the best I’ve read on what it means to be young and female right now.’ The winner of the Sunday Times/Peters Fraser and Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Prize 2017, Sally Rooney’s novel is a shrewd, wickedly funny debut about the nature of friendship and love for the millennial generation.
‘Urban and urbane, it’s a magnificent debut’ writes the Telegraph of this immersive collection by Zambia-born poet Kayo Chingonyi. Taking its title from the Luvale tribe’s term for a boy’s ritual passage into manhood, Chingonyi’s musical, lyrically inspired poems confront ideas of masculinity and the gulf between fathers and sons, exploring race and identity through ideas of what it means to be at once both citizen and outsider.
One summer a couple, Wade and Jenny, take a trip to the forest to collect birch wood with their family, little-knowing their lives are on the brink of a life-shattering, inconceivable act whose. Told from multiple perspectives, Idaho is an extraordinary, luminescent fictional debut from American author Emily Ruskovich; a novel about memory, grief, compassion and what it takes to rebuild a life in the shadow of violence.
Growing up in Mendocino, in the wilderness of the northern California coast, 14-year-old Turtle Alveston and her father live a life honed by survival, brutality and sadistic love. As Turtle’s reaches out to a life beyond, their fragile existence is blown apart. Described by the Financial Times as ‘a Great American Novel for the increasingly isolationist, fractionalised and disenchanted contemporary era’, My Absolute Darling is is a tour-de-force debut that leaves echoes indelibly imprinted on the imagination.
International Dylan Thomas Book Prize 2018 Longlist
Previous Prize Winners