The Goldsmiths Prize 2013

Goldsmiths has announced the shortlist for the first ever Goldsmiths Prize for innovative fiction. The six finalists for the £10,000 annual award are:

Jim Crace, for Harvest
Lars Iyer, for Exodus
Eimear McBride, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing
David Peace, for Red or Dead
Ali Smith, for Artful
Philip Terry, for Tapestry

Developed in partnership with the New Statesman, the award helps to throw a spotlight on the Goldsmiths' Writers Centre. Goldsmiths explains:

There are many prizes with a brief to reward the ‘best’ fiction, but while that implies openness to excellent novels of all kinds, the books that win prizes tend, for all their merits, to be unsurprising and conventional. Launching in the tercentenary year of the births of Laurence Sterne and Denis Diderot, the Goldsmiths Prize will go to a novel that shares something of the exuberant inventiveness and restlessness with conventions manifest in Tristram Shandy and Jacques the Fatalist.

The modern equivalents of Sterne and Diderot are often labelled ‘experimental,’ with the implication that their fiction is an eccentric deviation from the novel’s natural concerns, structures and idioms. A long view of the novel’s history, however, suggests that it is the most flexible and varied of genres, and the Goldsmiths Prize will encourage and reward writers who make best use of its many resources and possibilities.

The winner will be announced on November 13th and awarded at a ceremony to be held at Goldsmiths.

[Full disclosure: I am a member of Council for Goldsmiths].