A longlist of 15 books has today been announced for the prestigious International Dylan Thomas Prize, sponsored by Swansea University.

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The list includes works by Welsh poet, author and scriptwriter Owen Sheers, five American authors, an Indian novelist, Glasgow-based Jamaican poet Kei Miller, and crime writer Tom Rob Smith.

Two of the books – The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, and A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride – have won the Booker Prize and the Baileys Women’s Prize respectively.

This is the seventh edition of the £30,000 prize, which is the largest literary prize in the world for young writers, aimed at encouraging creative talent worldwide. It celebrates and nurtures international literary excellence across all genres and is open to novels, short stories, poetry and drama.

Dylan Thomas was ideally suited to serve as an inspiration to young writers everywhere, as the freshness and immediacy of his writing were qualities that he never lost. The prize seeks to ensure that readers today will have the chance to savour the vitality and sparkle of a new generation of young writers.  In recognition of Dylan Thomas’s 39 years of literary productivity and creativity, the Prize is open to young writers of 39 and under.

Cerys and PeterCerys Matthews, one of the judges, said: “This year’s long list is truly delicious. It features international works across all genres – poetry, prose and drama – and has attracted young international writers of incredible talent. It is a delight to be part of the judging panel in this centenary year of Dylan Thomas’s birth.”

Peter Stead, founder and President of the International Dylan Thomas Prize, said: “The prize revels in its international perspective, which reflects the way in which the English language is used by writers around the world. The American fiction on the list varies from Manhattan’s Jewish idiom to the political history of Latin America and the anthropology of the Pacific islands.

“The list also includes a Somali writer reliving the recent violence of her country and an English novel, Mrs Hemingway by Naomi Wood, whose subject is one of America’s greatest writers. Closer to home, Owen Sheers’ work Mametz gives audiences a vivid glimpse into life and death in the WWI trenches.”

The prize shortlist will be announced on September 4th at the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea, as part of ‘Dylan Unchained’, the Dylan Thomas centenary conference being hosted by Swansea University. The winner will be unveiled at a gala dinner in Swansea in November.

International Dylan Thomas Prize – longlist 2014

Daniel Alarcón, At Night We Walk in Circles (Fourth Estate)

Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries (Granta)

John Donnelly, The Pass (Faber & Faber)

Joshua Ferris, To Rise Again at a Decent Hour (Viking)

Emma Healey, Elizabeth is Missing (Viking)

Meena Kandasamy, The Gypsy Goddess (Atlantic Books)

Eimear McBride, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing (Faber & Faber)

Kseniya Melnik, Snow in May (Fourth Estate)

Kei Miller, The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion (Carcanet Press)

Nadifa Mohamed, The Orchard of Lost Souls (Simon & Schuster)

Owen Sheers, Mametz (National Theatre Wales)

Tom Rob Smith, The Farm (Simon & Schuster)

Rufi Thorpe, The Girls from Corona del Mar (Knopf)

Naomi Wood, Mrs Hemingway (Picador)

Hanya Yanagihara, The People in the Trees (Atlantic Books)

For more information about the International Dylan Thomas Prize, see: http://www.swansea.ac.uk/dylan-thomas-prize/

For more information about the Dylan Unchained conference see: http://www.swansea.ac.uk/dylanthomas/