Elnathan John’s Born on a Tuesday shortlisted for 2017 Betty Trask Prize
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The Society of Authors has announced the 2017 shortlist for the Betty Trask Prize.

The shortlist features six debut literary novels by authors under the age of 35 and includes a self-published novel for the first time.

Nigerian author Elnathan John has made the shortlist for his novel Born on a Tuesday, which the judges called: ‘A tough, topical, directly-written book, devoid of sentimentality, and yet engaging, troubling and sad. The sense of place is wholly immersive, conjuring the villages and roads of troubled Nigeria with a deft and effortless touch.’


The 2017 Betty Trask shortlist

  • Rowan Hisayo Buchanan – Harmless Like You (Sceptre / Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Elnathan John – Born on a Tuesday (Cassava Books Republic)
  • Kathleen Jowitt – Speak its Name (self-published)
  • Rob McCarthy – The Hollow Men (Mulholland Books / Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Barney Norris – Five Rivers Meet on a Wooded Plain (Transworld)
  • Daniel Shand – Fallow (Sandstone Press Limited)


The judges this year were authors Simon Brett, Michéle Roberts and Joanne Harris. Commenting on the shortlist, Michéle Roberts said:

The merchants of gloom keep declaring that the novel is dead but people do keep on writing them. The entries for this year’s Betty Trask Prize formed a particularly rich and varied collection. The shortlist features pleasingly original approaches to novel-writing and is characterised by diversity of subject, tone and voice, by the authors’ passion, intelligence and deep commitment to their art.

Categories Africa Fiction International

Tags Barney Norris Born on a Tuesday Daniel Shand Elnathan John Fallow Five Rivers Meet on a Wooded Plain Harmless Like You Kathleen Jowitt Nigeria Rob McCarthy Rowan Hisayo Buchanan Speak its Name

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