2019 Political Fiction Book prize long list

Ordinary People 

Diana Evans

Published by: Chatto & Windus

“Diana Evans’ Ordinary People is part love story, part ghost story; an immersive, heartfelt and sometimes excruciating portrait of middle-class married life in a mixed up, wished-for cosmopolitan world. It is also a piercing exposé of race and gentrification in contemporary South London. While its sensitive main character Melissa is haunted by the Victorian city’s erasure of its class and Imperial history, the pull of her mother’s traditions and the political thought and work of Toni Morrison deeply infuse this book. With great control, Evans counterpoints global black and mixed race excellence with the parent-baby-mortgage-holiday struggles of everyday lives, and questions what it means to be ‘ordinary people,’ today. Through her shifting prose she makes beautiful confusion of any fixed idea of a centre or its margins, and reveals identity and love to be fluid, revolutionary things.”