As a tribute to the London 2012 Olympics and its slogan of ‘Inspire a Generation’, I thought it would be appropriate to list a new generation of ‘up-and-coming’ British authors.
In 2010, The Telegraph ran a story on Britain’s 20 best writers under the age of 40 and more recently the BBC Culture Show focused on 12 of the best new novelists (John Mullan, who chaired the program wrote an interesting article on this for The Guardian). I’m not overly enamoured with either of these lists and have been meaning to do my own for quite some time now. With the British flag flying high these days I thought now would probably be as a good a time as any to actually write that list.
The criteria was simple: the writer must be a first time author with his/her book having been published in the last 5 years. I struggled to get to 10 and have to admit that I only made it by adding some authors/books I had only ever hear about in passing and have no real intention of reading (Harvey, The Wilderness; Wyld, After the Fire and Addonia, Consequences of Love).
I’m also not sure if Alexandra Harris should count as she is not a novelist and has been publishing as an academic for some time. Moshin Hamid also published a book in 2000 but is only really known for his Booker winner listed below.
Who would be on your list? Have you read or are you planning on reading any of the below?
Ned Beauman – Boxer Beetle (Sceptre, 2010) and The Teleportation Accident (Sceptre, 2012)
Rebecca Hunt – Mr Chartwell (Penguin, 2011)
Stephen Kelman – Pigeon English (Bloomsbury, 2011)
Mohsin Hamid – The Reluctant Fundamentalist (Penguin, 2007)
Nadifa Mohamed – Black Mamba Boy (Harper Collins, 2009)
Lee Rourke – The Canal (Melville House Publishing, 2010)
Evie Wyld – After the Fire, A Still Small Voice (Bolinda Publishing, 2009)
Sulaiman Addonia – The Consequences of Love (Chatto & Windus, 2008)
Alexandra Harris – Romantic Moderns: English Writers, Artists and the Imagination from Virginia Woolf to John Piper (Thames & Hudson, 2010)
Samantha Harvey – The Wilderness (Vintage, 2009)