Granta and British Council Announce ‘Best of Young British Novelists’ Partnership
Amis, Barker, Barnes, Hollinghurst, Mitchell, Rushdie, Winterson . . .
Before they were household names, they were Granta Best of Young British Novelists. At a celebration to be held at the British Council, on the evening of 15 April 2013, Granta will announce its once-in-a-decade selection of the twenty best British novelists aged under forty. Granta’s first generation-defining list of writers was published in 1983 and set the bar for the following decades.
The April announcement marks the publication of Granta 123: The Best of Young British Novelists 4, which includes a new story from each writer on the 2013 list. Granta 123 will be available to purchase from all good booksellers from 16 April in the UK and 23 April in the US. Throughout 2013, the British Council and Granta are collaborating on an international showcase of contemporary British novelists, which features the twenty writers selected by Granta’s panel of judges. The first international events – including readings and conversation – will be announced on 15 April and will be taking place in more than ten countries including Russia, Qatar and India.
Books from each Granta Best Young Novelist on the 1983, 1993, 2003 and 2013 lists will be presented around the world in a bookcase designed by Raw-Edges Design Studio.
The Judges for Granta ’s Best of Young British Novelists 4
Beginning in April 2012, John Freeman, Ellah Allfrey, Romesh Gunesekera, Stuart Kelly, A.L. Kennedy, Sigrid Rausing and Gaby Wood read the works of over 150 authors, submitted by publishers, agents and the authors themselves. The judging process was completed on 7 January this year. On the selection of the jury, Freeman, Granta’s editor, said they were all ‘outsider minds that worked inside the system of publishing’.
Ellah Allfrey, OBE is the deputy editor of Granta magazine. She sits on the board of Writers’ Centre Norwich and is Deputy Chair of the Council of the Caine Prize.
John Freeman is the editor of Granta. He is a former president of the National Book Critics Circle and has published two books, The Tyranny of E-Mail (Scribner, 2009) and How to Read a Novelist (FSG, 2013).
Romesh Gunesekera is the author of seven novels, including the Booker-shortlisted Reef (Granta Books, 1994) and The Prisoner of Paradise (Bloomsbury, 2013). A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he has judged many awards including the David Cohen Prize and the Caine Prize.
Stuart Kelly is the literary editor of Scotland on Sunday, a freelance critic and a writer. He is the author of The Book of Lost Books (Viking, 2005) and Scott-Land (Polygon, 2011).
A.L. Kennedy is the author of fourteen books, including novels, short fiction and non-fiction. She also writes drama, journalism and performs stand-up comedy. She was named a Granta Best of Young British Novelist in 1993 and again in 2003. A winner of the Costa Prize, she also is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the Royal Society of Literature.
Sigrid Rausing is the publisher of Granta. She is a writer and philanthropist. An anthropologist by training, her book History, Memory, and Identity in Post-Soviet Estonia: The End of a Collective Farm was published by OUP in 2004. Her forthcoming book is Everything is Wonderful (Grove Atlantic/ Bonniers, 2014).
Gaby Wood is Head of Books at the Telegraph Media Group. Prior to that, she worked as an editor and staff feature writer at the Observer. She is the author of Living Dolls (Faber, 2003) and has previously judged the Man Booker Prize. Her journalism has appeared in the London Review of Books, the Guardian, Vogue and the New York Times.
The announcement of the 2013 list
In a radio exclusive, BBC Radio 4’s Front Row will announce the twenty Best of Young British Novelists around 7.30 p.m. on the evening of 15 April at the same time as the announcement at the British Council in London. In addition, BBC Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime will air readings of five of the stories from Granta 123 the week of 15 April.
Nadav Kander Portraits
Internationally renowned photographer Nadav Kander was commissioned to take portraits of each of Granta’s new Best of Young British Novelists. The result is a series of haunting portraits in a style that echoes Godfried Schalken’s candlelight paintings and the evocative portraiture of Gerhard Richter. The photographs are reproduced in Granta 123.
Audiobooks and E-books
In the first partnership of its kind, Audible and Granta magazine are collaborating on the unabridged audiobook production of Granta 123: Best of Young British Novelists 4, which will be released via audible.co.uk and audible.com on 16 April. The wider aims of the partnership are to broaden the audience for literary fiction through a new, accessible format and to encourage writers to engage with spoken word from the start of their careers.
For the first time, Granta will be releasing the 1983, 1993 and 2003 editions of the Best of Young British Novelists in electronic format. They will be available across all e-book formats in chronological order on 25 March, 1 April and 8 April.
The ‘Best of Young British Novelists’ Bookcase
British-based design studio Raw-Edges has been commissioned by the British Council to design a bespoke travelling bookcase to house one carefully selected work of fiction from each of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists. The bookcase will also hold editions of Granta magazine. The highly inventive design means the books themselves take centre stage in the installation. The interactive nature of the bookcase also allows visitors to change the display by repositioning the books. It invites visitors to delve into the stories and also consider the books’ physical qualities and design. The bookcase will be on show during the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan, where a series of talks will consider the book as a physical object. This commission represents an opportunity for audiences overseas to engage with British design and British contemporary literature.
Submission Guidelines for Granta's Best of Young British Novelists
Authors must be UK citizens, forty years or younger on 15 April 2013 and must have published a book or be under contract for a book as of the submission deadline, 15 September 2012.
Press enquiries and further informat ion For Granta magazine and Best of Young British Novelists: Saskia Vogel | +44 (0)20 7605 1379 firstname.lastname@example.org | granta.com | @GrantaMag
For British Council bookcase and international programming: Alex Bratt | +44 (0)20 7389 4872 email@example.com literature.britishcouncil.org | @BCLiterature backoftheenvelope.britishcouncil.org | @BC_ADF