Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The Green Carnation Prize Longlist 2010 Announced

The Green Carnation Prize is a new UK award given to works of fiction or memoir by gay men. The judges have debated long and hard to come up with the following longlist:

Generation A by Douglas Coupland (Windmill Books)
Bryant and May Off the Rails by Christopher Fowler (Doubleday)
Paperboy by Christopher Fowler (Doubleday)
In A Strange Room by Damon Galgut (Atlantic Books)
God Says No by James Hannaham (McSweeney’s)
London Triptych by Jonathan Kemp (Myriad Editions)
Mary Ann in Autumn by Armistead Maupin (Doubleday)
Children of the Sun by Max Schaefer (Granta)
Man’s World by Rupert Smith (Arcadia Books)
The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas (Tuskar Rock Press)
City Boy by Edmund White (Bloomsbury)

The shortlist will be announced on November 1st and the winner on December 1st.

I'm pleased to see books on this list which I've read and admired this year especially God Says No by James Hannaham (which was also shortlisted for the Gay Debut Fiction category I helped judge in this year's Lambda Awards). This is an exceptionally original book about an amiable closeted overweight man struggling to come out and survive a pray-away-the-gay ministry where he tries to convert to heterosexuality to save his marriage.

Damon Galgut's new novel In A Strange Room is a strange book indeed. I finished reading it last week and I'm still puzzling what to make of it. Recording three journeys which the central character "Damon" takes in foreign countries this is a mediation on identity and belonging of the kind which is often experienced when traveling in totally unfamiliar environments. What's most unusual about this book is the form of narration where the author frequently moves back and forth between the first and third person when describing Damon's journeys. It suggests a dual relationship the self in the present has with the self of the past, memory and experience intertwining in a way that is both maddening and mystifying.

Click on the titles above for a past review of Man's World and interview with Edmund White about City Boy.

Eric Karl Anderson

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