Archives: Political fiction entriesTTTT


Ali Smith was born in Inverness in 1962. She is the author of Spring, Winter, Autumn, Public library and other stories, How to be both, Shire, Artful, There but for the, The first person and other stories, Girl Meets Boy, The Accidental, The whole story and other stories, Hotel World, Other stories and other stories, Like and Free Love. Hotel World was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Orange Prize. The Accidental was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Orange Prize. How to be both won the Bailey’s Prize, the Goldsmiths Prize and the Costa Novel of the Year Award, and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Autumn was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017 and Winter was shortlisted for The Orwell Prize for Books in 2018. Ali Smith lives in Cambridge.

Smith, accepting her prize in a speech next to the mural of Orwell at Southwold Pier in Suffolk, sent this message:

The judges said:

The conclusion to Ali Smith’s seasonal quartet seals her reputation as the great chronicler of our age. Capturing a snapshot of life in Britain right up until the present day, Smith takes the emotional temperature of a nation grappling with a global pandemic, the brink of Brexit, heart-breaking conditions for refugees, and so much more.  It will serve as a time-capsule which will prove to be essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the mood of Britain during this turbulent time.”

Leave the World Behind

Rumaan Alam’s taut and terrifying disaster novel is a masterclass in dystopian scene-setting and pacing. Skewering consumerism, privilege, and our reliance on technology, Alam highlights the uselessness of societal divisions in the face of shared global catastrophe.  A highly original, eerie, and prescient page-turner which wrestles complex social issues with confidence and verve.”

Shuggie Bain

For all the pain and struggle in Shuggie Bain’s life, the strength of the son’s love for his  mother shines through. Glasgow has its poetic champion. A masterful debut deserving of all the credit it has received.”

The Topeka School

Ben Lerner was born in Topeka, Kansas, in 1979. He has received fellowships from the Fulbright, Guggenheim, and MacArthur Foundations, and is the author of three internationally acclaimed novels, Leaving the Atocha Station, 10:04 and The Topeka School. He has published the poetry collections The Lichtenberg Figures, Angle of Yaw (a finalist for the National Book Award), Mean Free Path and No Art as well as the essay The Hatred of Poetry. Lerner lives and teaches in Brooklyn.

Broken Jaw

Minoli Salgado is the author of A Little Dust on the Eyes (Peepal Tree Press, 2014), which won the first SI Leeds Literary Prize and was longlisted for the DSC Prize in South Asian Literature, and Writing Sri Lanka: Literature, Resistance and the Politics of Place (Routledge, 2007). Her short stories and poems have been published internationally and she was selected as the Olympic poet for Sri Lanka for the Cultural Olympiad in London 2012. She is Professor of International Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Ducks, Newburyport

Lucy Ellmann is the author of Ducks, Newburyport, which won the 2019 Goldsmiths Prize, and was shortlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize and Saltire Fiction Book of the Year Award. She was born in Illinois and dragged to England as a teenager. Her first novel, Sweet Desserts, won the Guardian Fiction Prize. It was followed by Varying Degrees of Hopelessness, Man or Mango? A Lament, Dot in the Universe, Doctors & Nurses and Mimi. She now lives in Edinburgh.


Since her debut novel The Country Girls Edna O’Brien has written over twenty works of fiction along with a biography of James Joyce and Lord Byron. She is the recipient of many awards including the Irish Pen Lifetime Achievement Award, the American National Art’s Gold Medal and the Ulysses Medal. Born and raised in the west of Ireland she has lived in London for many years.

Girl, Woman, Other

Bernardine Evaristo is the Anglo-Nigerian award-winning author of several books of fiction and verse fiction that explore aspects of the African diaspora: past, present, real, imagined. Her writing also spans short fiction, reviews, essays, drama and writing for BBC radio. She is Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University, London, and Vice Chair of the Royal Society of Literature. She was made an MBE in 2009. As a literary activist for inclusion Bernardine has founded a number of successful initiatives, including Spread the Word writer development agency (1995-ongoing); the Complete Works mentoring scheme for poets of colour (2007-2017) and the Brunel International African Poetry Prize (2012-ongoing).

Heaven, My Home

Attica Locke is the author of Bluebird, Bluebird which won the CWA Steel Dagger and an Edgar Award; Pleasantville, which won the 2016 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction and was longlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction; Black Water Rising, which was nominated for an Edgar Award and shortlisted for the Orange Prize; and The Cutting Season, a national bestseller and winner of the Ernest Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. She worked on the adaptation of Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere and Ava DuVernay’s Netflix series about the Central Park Five, When They See Us. A native of Houston, Texas, Attica lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband and daughter.


Ali Smith was born in Inverness in 1962. Her novel The Accidental was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Orange Prize. How to be both won the Bailey’s Prize, the Goldsmiths Prize and the Costa Novel of the Year Award, and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Autumn was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017 and Winter was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize 2018. Ali Smith lives in Cambridge.

The Nickel Boys

Colson Whitehead was born in 1969, and was raised in Manhattan. After graduating from Harvard College, he started working at the Village Voice, where he wrote reviews of television, books, and music. He is the author of The Nickel Boys, The Underground RailroadThe Noble HustleZone OneSag HarborThe IntuitionistJohn Henry DaysApex Hides the Hurt, and one collection of essays, The Colossus of New York. He has received a MacArthur Fellowship, A Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers Award, the Dos Passos Prize, and a fellowship at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. He lives in New York City. Before winning this year’s Orwell Prize for Political Fiction, The Nickel Boys also won the Pulitzer Prize, making Whitehead only the fourth writer ever to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction twice.

To Calais, in Ordinary Time

James Meek is the author of six novels. He has also written two collections of short stories and two books of non-fiction, Private Island, which won the 2015 Orwell Prize and Dreams of Leaving and Remaining. He is a Contributing Editor to the London Review of Books and writes regularly for the Guardian and New York Times. He lives in London.

This Paradise

Ruby Cowling was born in Bradford and now lives in London. This Paradise is her first book. Her stories have won The White Review Prize (2014) and the London Short Story Prize (2014) among others and been widely published in journals and anthologies, including Lighthouse, The Letters Page, Unthology, and The Lonely Crowd.

The Wall

John Lanchester was born in Hamburg in 1962. He has worked as a football reporter, obituary writer, book editor, restaurant critic, and deputy editor of the London Review of Books, where he is a contributing editor. His books have won the Hawthornden Prize, the Whitbread First Novel Prize, E.M Forster Award, and the Premi Llibreter, been longlisted for the Booker Prize, and been translated into twenty-five languages. He is married, has two children and lives in London.

The Travelers

Regina Porter is an award-winning playwright and a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was an Iowa Arts Fellow. She was born in Savannah, Georgia and lives in Brooklyn. The Travelers is her first novel.

The Man Who Saw Everything

Deborah Levy is a British playwright, novelist and poet. She is the author of seven novels. Swimming Home was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2012; Hot Milk was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2016 and the Goldsmiths Prize 2016. Deborah is also the author of an acclaimed collection of short stories, Black Vodka (2013), and two ‘living autobiographies’, Things I Don’t Want To Know and The Cost of Living. She has written for the Royal Shakespeare Company and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Red Clocks 

Red Clocks carves out a space of its own in the tradition of
feminist near-future dystopias. Here¹s a North America not gaudily
reinvented but just slightly tweaked from our own, and the more disturbing
for it. Roe vs Wade has been overturned; abortion criminalised; the
two-parent family now not so much normal as compulsory. In several voices,
with huge narrative pace and literary artfulness, Leni Zumas evokes the
effect on that of the everyday lives of the several different women whose
intersecting stories it describes.”



“Nick Drnaso’s subdued yet searing graphic novel depicts the collision between fake news and real tragedy in our contemporary media climate. Drnaso’s understated art style underscores the collateral damage from the trauma of a missing loved one, while the complex layering of the comics panels conveys the uneven tempos of grief and the creeping nature of doubt and paranoia. Sabrina questions the divisions between authoritative and informal processes of knowledge production and manipulation from the level of internet forums to the apparatuses of national security.”