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23 January 2019

Guy Gunaratne and Maura Dooley to judge the 2019 Goldsmiths Prize

The £10,000 prize for “fiction at its most novel” is also now open to authors of any nationality, provided they have been resident in the UK or Republic of Ireland for a minimum of three years.

By New Statesman

The Man Booker-longlisted novelist and video journalist Guy Gunaratne has been announced as a judge of this year’s Goldsmiths Prize. The author of In Our Mad And Furious City, which was itself nominated for the Goldsmiths Prize last year, will judge the prize alongside Professor Maura Dooley, the Forward Prize-winning poet and Goldsmiths lecturer; Icelandic poet, novelist and Academy Award-nominated lyricist Sjón; and the New Statesman’s Deputy Culture Editor Anna Leszkiewicz.

The panel is revealed as it is announced that the eligibility criteria for the prize has been extended. Now authors of any nationality, provided they have been resident in the UK or Republic of Ireland for a minimum of three years, can enter. Previously, the award was only open to those born in the UK and Ireland.

The £10,000 prize, co-founded with the New Statesman in 2013, rewards fiction that “breaks the mould or extends the possibilities of the novel form”. The 2018 prize was awarded to The Long Take by Robin Robertson, which was celebrated by the judges as it “not only tapped into a wide range of poetic forms, traditions and tones of voice, but also set itself to match the ambitious architecture and careful construction we’re accustomed to in a long prose narrative.” Previous winners also include Eimear McBride in 2013 for her work A Girl Is A Half-formed Thing, followed by Ali Smith in 2014 for How to Be Both, Kevin Barry in 2015 for Beatlebone, Mike McCormack in 2016 for Solar Bones, and Nicola Barker with H(A)PPY in 2017.

Dooley, this year’s Chair of Judges, said: “I’m looking forward to the excitement that mounts from the moment these new novels begin to arrive at Goldsmiths and this year the door is open wider. New rules allow for submissions not just from authors who are UK or Irish citizens but also from authors resident in these islands in recent years. In this way the range of writing and voices will be broader and richer than ever.”

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