Man at His Best

Single Sentence Novel Wins GBP10,000 Prize


BY Katie Jones | Nov 11, 2016 | Books


A novel written in a single unbroken sentence has won the Goldsmiths Prize 2016, an award which acknowledges fiction that "breaks the mould or opens up new possibilities for the novel form".

Irish author Mike McCormack, who was named the winner at a ceremony in London on Wednesday, will receive GBP10,000 for his work, Solar Bones. His experimental novel was praised for being "innovative" and beat Deborah Levy's Booker shortlisted Hot Milk and The Lesser Bohemians by previous Goldsmiths winner, Eimear McBride, to the prize.

The idea of reading one long sentence might not sound immediately appealing, but Blake Morrison, the Chairman of judges, described McCormack's work as "extraordinary."

"Set over a few hours in a single day, and told in the first-person voice of a middle-aged engineer, Mike McCormack's Solar Bones transcends these seeming limits magnificently," Morrison said.

"Politics, family, art, marriage, health, civic duty and the environment are just a few of the themes it touches on, in a prose that's lyrical yet firmly rooted.

"Its subject may be an ordinary working life but it is itself an extraordinary work."

McCormack, who is the third Irish writer to win the prize since it was founded in 2013, shrugged off claims that his book might be a challenge to read.

"Readers are smart. They're up for it," he told the BBC.

"That was what the people at Tramp Press taught me. There are readers out there and they have been proved right."

Another one to add to the reading list, perhaps?


From: Esquire UK