AITKEN ALEXANDER AUTHORS MAKE UP THE MAJORITY OF SHORTLIST FOR THE 2022 ENCORE AWARD

Huge congratulations to our authors Jessie Greengrass, Francis Spufford, and Olivia Sudjic, who are all nominated for the 2022 RSL Encore Award. The annual Award of £10,000 celebrates outstanding achievements in second novels, filling a niche in the catalogue of literary prizes.

The High House Jessie Greengrass (Swift Press): “Set in a flooded England in the near-future, this is a novel that confronts our collective failure to act in the face of the greatest ever existential crisis humanity has ever seen: the climate crisis. But with such bleak subject matter, Greengrass shows how moments of joy and love can still be found despite such terror, in this understatedly powerful novel.”

Light Perpetual by Francis Spufford (Scribner): “If the defining characteristic of fiction is ‘making it up’, Francis Spufford’s Light Perpetual is a triumph in the form. Spufford imagines the lives of a group of children, many of them actual victims of a V-2 attack on the New Cross Road branch of Woolworths in 1944, and invents their alternative histories through the 20th century. This version of ‘what might have been’ affords us memorable and moving insights into what we have come to think of as our reality.”

Asylum Road by Olivia Sudjic (Bloomsbury): “Its fragmentary style manages to interweave the personal and the political in this tale of trauma and regret. Managing to blend elements of taut thriller and road trip saga, this keeps the gaze on our lead character close and gives us a glimpse into someone slowly falling apart. Written with grace and humanity, this is a brilliant stylish book.”

Read the announcement and see the full shortlist here.