The Swansea University International Dylan Thomas Prize is proud to announce its 2024 longlist. 

A Spell of Good Things - Ayobami Adebayo

A Spell of Good Things by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ (Canongate Books)
Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀, the Women's Prize-shortlisted author of Stay With Me, unveils a dazzling story of modern Nigeria and two families caught in the riptides of wealth, power, romantic obsession and political corruption.

Eniola is tall for his age, a boy who looks like a man. His father has lost his job, so Eniola spends his days running errands for the local tailor, collecting newspapers and begging, dreaming of a big future.

Wuraola is a golden girl, the perfect child of a wealthy family. Now an exhausted young doctor in her first year of practice, she is beloved by Kunle, the volatile son of family friends.

When a local politician takes an interest in Eniola and sudden violence shatters a family party, Wuraola and Eniola's lives become intertwined. In this breathtaking novel, Ayòbámi Adébáyò shines her light on Nigeria, on the gaping divide between the haves and the have-nots, and the shared humanity that lives in between.

Ayobami Adebayo photo by Emmanuel Iduma

Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀, A Spell of Good Things (Canongate Books)
Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ was born in Lagos, Nigeria. Her debut novel, Stay With Me, won the 9mobile Prize for Literature, was shortlisted for the Baileys Prize for Women’s Fiction, the Wellcome Book Prize and the Kwani? Manuscript Prize. It has been translated into twenty languages and the French translation was awarded the Prix Les Afriques. Longlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize and the International Dublin Literary Award, Stay With Me was a New York TimesGuardianChicago Tribune and NPR Best Book of the Year. Ayòbámi Adébàyò splits her time between Norwich and Lagos.

X: @ayobamiadebayo  |  Instagram: @ayobamidebayo
[Photo credit: Emmanuel Iduma]

Small Worlds by Caleb Azumah Nelson (Viking, Penguin Random House)

Small Worlds by Caleb Azumah Nelson (Viking, Penguin Random House UK)
Dancing is the one thing that can solve Stephen's problems.

At Church with his family, the shimmer of Black hands raised in praise. With his band, making music speaking not just to their hardships, but their joys. Grooving with his best friend, so close their heads might touch. Dancing alone to his father's records, uncovering parts of a man he has never truly known. His youth, shame and sacrifice.

Stephen has only ever known himself in song. But what becomes of him when the music fades?

Set over the course of three summers, from South London to Ghana and back again, SMALL WORLDS is a novel about the worlds we build for ourselves. The worlds we live, dance and love within.

Caleb Azumah Nelson

Caleb Azumah Nelson, Small Worlds (Viking, Penguin Random House)
Caleb Azumah Nelson is a British-Ghanaian writer and photographer living in South East London. His first novel, OPEN WATER, won the Costa First Novel Award and Debut of the Year at the British Book Awards, and was a number-one Times bestseller. It was also shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, Waterstones Book of the Year, and longlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize and the Desmond Elliott Prize. His second novel, SMALL WORLDS was a Sunday Times Bestseller and was shortlisted for The Orwell Prize for Political Fiction. He was selected as a National Book Foundation '5 under 35' honoree by Brit Bennett.

X: @CalebANelson  |  Instagram: @caleb_anelson

The Glutton by A.K. Blakemore (Granta)

The Glutton by A.K. Blakemore (Granta)
Sister Perpetue is not to move. She is not to fall asleep. She is to sit, keeping guard over the patient's room. She has heard the stories of his hunger, which defy belief: that he has eaten all manner of creatures and objects. A child even, if the rumours are to be believed. But it is hard to believe that this slender, frail man is the one they once called The Great Tarare, The Glutton of Lyon.

Before, he was just Tarare. Well-meaning and hopelessly curious, born into a world of brawling and sweet cider, to a bereaved mother and a life of slender means. The 18th Century is drawing to a close, unrest grips the heart of France and life in the village is soon shaken. When a sudden act of violence sees Tarare cast out and left for dead, his ferocious appetite is ignited, and it's not long before his extraordinary abilities to eat make him a marvel throughout the land.

Following Tarare as he travels from the South of France to Paris and beyond, through the heart of the Revolution, The Glutton is an electric, heart-stopping journey into a world of tumult, upheaval and depravity, wherein the hunger of one peasant is matched only by the insatiable demands of the people of France.

A.K. Blakemore photo by Alice Zoo

A.K. Blakemore, The Glutton (Granta)
A. K. Blakemore's debut novel, The Manningtree Witches, won the Desmond Elliott Prize 2021, was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award, and was a Waterstones Book of the Month. She is the author of two full-length collections of poetry, Humbert Summer and Fondue, which was awarded the 2019 Ledbury Forte Prize for Best Second Collection, and has also translated the work of Sichuanese poet Yu Yoyo. Her poetry and prose has appeared in the London Review of Books, Poetry, the Poetry Review and the White Review, among other publications.

X: @akblakemore  |  Instagram: @barbiedreamhearse
[Photo credit: Alice Zoo

Bright Fear by Mary Jean Chan (Faber & Faber)

Bright Fear by Mary Jean Chan (Faber & Faber)
Following their award-winning debut, Flèche (2019), comes Mary Jean Chan’s gleaming second collection: Bright Fear. Through poems which engage fearlessly with intertwined themes of identity, multilingualism and postcolonial legacy, Chan’s latest work explores a family’s evolving dynamics, as well as microaggressions stemming from queerphobia and anti-Asian racism that accompanied the Covid pandemic.

Yet Bright Fear remains deeply attuned to moments of beauty, tenderness and grace. It asks how we might find a home within our own bodies, in places both distant and near, and in the ‘constructed space’ of the poem. The contemplative central sequence, Ars Poetica, traces the radically healing and transformative role of poetry during the poet’s teenage and adult years, culminating in a polyphonic reconciliation of tongues. Throughout, Chan offers us new and galvanising ways to ‘withstand the quotidian tug- / of-war between terror and love’.

‘[Chan] is one of those rare poets who leave you looking up with a sense that you can engage even the smallest part of the world around you with a much greater intensity.’ PN Review

Mary Jean Chan

Mary Jean Chan, Bright Fear (Faber & Faber)
Mary Jean Chan is the author of Flèche (Faber & Faber, 2019), which won the Costa Book Award for Poetry and was shortlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize and the Seamus Heaney Centre First Collection Poetry Prize. Bright Fear, Chan's second book, was shortlisted for the 2023 Forward Prize for Best Collection and is currently shortlisted for the Writers' Prize. In 2022, Chan co-edited the acclaimed anthology 100 Queer Poems with Andrew McMillan. A recent judge for the 2023 Booker Prize, Chan is the 2023-24 Judith E. Wilson Poetry Fellow at the University of Cambridge.

X: @maryjean_chan  |  Instagram: @maryjeanchan

Penance by Eliza Clark (Faber & Faber)

Penance by Eliza Clark (Faber & Faber)
Do you know what happened already? Did you know her? Did you see it on the internet? Did you listen to a podcast? Did the hosts make jokes?

Did you see the pictures of the body?

Did you look for them?

It’s been nearly a decade since the horrifying murder of sixteen-year-old Joan Wilson rocked Crow-on-Sea, and the events of that terrible night are now being published for the first time.

That story is Penance, a dizzying feat of masterful storytelling, where Eliza Clark manoeuvres us through accounts from the inhabitants of this small seaside town. Placing us in the capable hands of journalist Alec Z. Carelli, Clark allows him to construct what he claims is the ‘definitive account’ of the murder – and what led up to it. Built on hours of interviews with witnesses and family members, painstaking historical research, and most notably, correspondence with the killers themselves, the result is a riveting snapshot of lives rocked by tragedy, and a town left in turmoil.

The only question is: how much of it is true?

Eliza Clark photo by Robin Silas Christian

Eliza Clark, Penance (Faber & Faber) 
Eliza Clark is the author of Boy Parts (2020) and Penance (2023). In 2020 Boy Parts was Blackwell's Fiction book of the year, and in 2022 Eliza was chosen as a finalist for the Women's Prize Futures Award for writers under thirty-five. In 2023 she was named one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists in 2023. She also writes for film and television. A stage adaptation of Boy Parts premiered at Soho Theatre in October 2023.

X: @FancyEliza  |  Instagram: @fancyeliza
[Photo credit: Robin Silas Christian]

The Coiled Serpent by Camilla Grudova (Atlantic Books)

The Coiled Serpent by Camilla Grudova (Atlantic Books)
A little girl throws up Gloria-Jean’s teeth after an explosion at the custard factory; Pax, Alexander, and Angelo are hypnotically enthralled by a book that promises them enlightenment if they keep their semen inside their bodies; Victoria is sent to a cursed hotel for ailing girls when her period mysteriously stops. In a damp, putrid spa, the exploitative drudgery of work sparks revolt; in a Margate museum, the new Director curates a venomous garden for public consumption.

In Grudova’s unforgettably surreal style, these stories expose the absurdities behind contemporary ideas of
work, Britishness and art-making, to conjure a singular, startling strangeness that proves the deft skill of a writer
at the top of her game.

Camilla Grudova (c) Christina Webber

Camilla Grudova, The Coiled Serpent (Atlantic Books)
Camilla Grudova lives in Edinburgh where she works as a cinema operator and waitress. Her fiction has appeared in The White Review and Granta. She is the critically acclaimed author of The Doll's Alphabet (2017) and the Women’s Prize for Fiction-longlisted Children of Paradise (2022). She was named one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists in 2023.

[Photo credit: Christina Webber]

Hungry Ghosts by Kevin Jared Hosein (Bloomsbury Publishing, Ecco (HarperCollins))

Hungry Ghosts by Kevin Jared Hosein (Bloomsbury Publishing, Ecco (HarperCollins))
The music was still playing when Dalton Changoor vanished into thin air...

On a hill overlooking Bell Village sits the Changoor farm, where Dalton and Marlee Changoor live in luxury unrecognisable to those who reside in the farm's shadow. Down below is the barrack, a ramshackle building of wood and tin, divided into rooms occupied by whole families. Among these families are the Saroops - Hans, Shweta, and their son, Krishna, who live hard lives of backbreaking work, grinding poverty and devotion to faith.

When Dalton Changoor goes missing and Marlee's safety is compromised, farmhand Hans is lured by the promise of a handsome stipend to move to the farm as watchman. But as the mystery of Dalton's disappearance unfolds their lives become hellishly entwined, and the small community altered forever.

Hungry Ghosts is a mesmerising novel about violence, religion, family and class, rooted in the wild and pastoral landscape of 1940s colonial central Trinidad.

Kevin Jared Hosein photo

Kevin Jared Hosein, Hungry Ghosts Bloomsbury Publishing, Ecco (HarperCollins) 
Kevin Jared Hosein is a Caribbean novelist. He was named overall winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize in 2018, and was the Caribbean regional winner in 2015. He has published two books: The Repenters and The Beast of Kukuyo. The latter received a CODE Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature, and both were longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award. His writings have been published in numerous anthologies and outlets. He lives in Trinidad and Tobago.

X: @kevinjhosein  |  Instagram: @kjaredhosein

Local Fires by Joshua Jones (Parthian Books)

Local Fires by Joshua Jones (Parthian Books)
Local Fires sees debut writer Joshua Jones turn his acute focus to his birthplace of Llanelli, South Wales. Sardonic and melancholic, joyful and grieving, these multifaceted stories may be set in a small town, but they have reach far beyond their locality. From the inertia of living in an ex-industrial working-class area, to gender, sexuality, toxic masculinity and neurodivergence, Jones has crafted a collection versatile in theme and observation, as the misadventures of the town’s inhabitants threaten to spill over into an incendiary finale.

In this stunning series of interconnected tales, fires both literal and metaphorical, local and all-encompassing, blaze together to herald the emergence of a singular new Welsh literary voice.

Joshua Jones (c) Nik Roche

Joshua Jones, Local Fires (Parthian Books)
Joshua Jones (he/him) is a queer, autistic writer and artist from Llanelli, South Wales. He co-founded Dyddiau Du, a NeuroQueer art and literature space in Cardiff. His fiction and poetry have been published by Poetry Wales, Broken Sleep Books, Gutter and others. He is a Literature Wales Emerging Writer for 2023, and is currently working with the British Council to connect Welsh and Vietnamese queer writers. Local Fires is his first publication of fiction.

X: @nothumanhead  |  Instagram: @joshuajoneswrites
[Photo credit: Nik Roche]

Biography of X by Catherine Lacey (Granta)

Biography of X by Catherine Lacey (Granta)
When X – an iconoclastic artist, writer and polarizing shape-shifter – dies suddenly, her widow, wild with grief, hurls herself into writing a biography of the woman she deified. Though X was recognised as a crucial creative force of her era, she kept a tight grip on her life story. Not even CM, her wife, knew where X had been born, and in her quest to find out, she opens a Pandora’s box of secrets, betrayals and destruction. All the while she immerses herself in the history of the Southern Territory, a fascist theocracy that split from the rest of the country after World War II, as it is finally, in the present day, forced into an uneasy reunification.

A masterfully constructed, counter-factual literary adventure, complete with original images assembled by X’s widow, Biography of X follows a grieving wife seeking to understand the woman who enthralled her. CM traces X’s peripatetic trajectory over decades, from Europe to the ruins of America’s divided territories, and through her collaborations and feuds with everyone from David Bowie and Tom Waits to Susan Sontag and Kathy Acker. And when she finally understands the scope of X’s defining artistic project, CM realises her wife’s deceptions were far crueller than she imagined.

Pulsing with suspense and intellect, Biography of X is a roaring epic that plumbs the depths of grief, art and love, and that introduces an unforgettable character who shows us the fallibility of the stories we craft for ourselves.

Catherine Lacey photo by Willy Somma

Catherine Lacey, Biography of X (Granta)
Catherine Lacey is the author of the novels Nobody Is Ever Missing, The Answers and Pew, and the short story collection Certain American States. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Award, the New York Public Library's Young Lions Fiction Award and a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship. She has been shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize and the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, and was named one of Granta's Best of Young American Novelists. Her essays and short fiction have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, The New York Times, The Believer and elsewhere. Born in Mississippi, Catherine is currently a fellow at the Dorothy B & Lewis Cullman Center for writers and scholars at the New York Public Library, and is otherwise based in Mexico City.

X: @_catherinelacey  |  Instagram: catherinelacey_
[Photo credit: Willy Somma]

Close to Home by Michael Magee (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House UK)

Close to Home by Michael Magee (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House UK)
Sean is back. Back in Belfast and back into old habits. Back on the mad all-nighters, the borrowed tenners and missing rent, the casual jobs that always fall through. Back in these scarred streets, where the promised prosperity of peacetime has never arrived. Back among his brothers, his ma, and all the things they never talk about. Until one night Sean finds himself at a party – dog-tired, surrounded by jeering strangers, his back against the wall – and he makes a big mistake.

Michael Magee

Michael Magee, Close to Home (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House UK)
Michael Magee is the fiction editor of the Tangerine and a graduate of the creative writing PhD programme at Queen’s University, Belfast. His writing has appeared in Winter Papers, The Stinging Fly, The Lifeboat and The 32: The Anthology of Irish Working-Class Voices. Close to Home is his first novel. It was shortlisted for the Waterstones Debut Fiction Prize 2023 and won the Rooney Prize for Literature 2023.

X: @michaelmagee__  |  Instagram: @michaelmagee__

Open Up by Thomas Morris (Faber & Faber)

Open Up by Thomas Morris (Faber & Faber)
From a child attending his first football match, buoyed by secret magic, and a wincingly humane portrait of adolescence, to the perplexity of grief and loss through the eyes of a seahorse, Thomas Morris seeks to find grace, hope and benevolence in the churning tumult of self-discovery.

Philosophically acute. Wincingly humane. Strikingly original. This outstanding suite of stories is bursting with a bracing emotional depth. Open Up cracks the heart as it expands the short story form.

Thomas Morris photo by David O'Carroll

Thomas Morris, Open Up (Faber & Faber)
Thomas Morris is from Caerphilly, South Wales. His debut story collection, We Don’t Know What We’re Doing (Faber & Faber) won the Wales Book of the Year, the Rhys Davies Trust Fiction Prize, and a Somerset Maugham Award. In 2023, he was named one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists. Open Up, his second book of stories, was published by Faber & Faber in August 2023.

[Photo credit: David O'Carroll]

Divisible by Itself and One by Kae Tempest (Picador, (Pan Macmillan))

Divisible by Itself and One by Kae Tempest (Picador, (Pan Macmillan))
I want to sing you early songs. Go deeper.

I want to take you back where you began,

Find the scraps of you you hid in secret

And bring them back to life beneath my tongue.

Divisible by Itself and One is the powerful new collection from our foremost truth-teller Kae Tempest. Ruminative, wise, with a newer, more contemplative and metaphysical note running through, it is a book engaged with the big questions and the emotional states in which we live and create. Some of the poems experiment with form, some are free, and yet all are politically and morally conscious. Divisible by Itself and One is also a book about human form, the body as boundary and how we are read by the world. Taking its bearings - and title - from the prime number, Divisible by Itself and One is concerned, ultimately, with integrity: how to live in honest relationship with oneself and others.

Kae Tempest

Kae Tempest, Divisible by Itself and One, (Picador, (Pan Macmillan))
Kae Tempest is a poet, writer, lyricist, performer and recording artist. They have published plays, poems, a novel and a book-length essay, released albums and toured extensively, selling out shows from Reykjavik to Rio de Janeiro.

They received Mercury Music Prize nominations for albums Everybody Down and Let Them Eat Chaos, and two Ivor Novello nominations for song-writing on The Book of Traps and Lessons. Tempest was named a Next Generation Poet in 2014, received the Ted Hughes Award for long-form narrative poem Brand New Ancients and the Leone D’Argento at the Venice Teatro Biennale for work as a playwright.

X: @kaetempest  |  Instagram: @kaetempest