Book of the Year Shortlist

28 May 2008

The books that have reached the 2008 Shortlist are  The Presence  by Danny Abse (Hutchinson),   The Claude Glass  by Tom Bullough (Sort Of Press) and  Blue Sky July  by Nia Wyn (Seren/Penguin).

The shortlists for the Wales Book of the Year 2008 were announced on Monday, 26 May 2008, at the Guardian Hay Festival in the presence of the Minister for Heritage, Rhodri Glyn Thomas.

Judges Trevor Fishlock for the English-language Award and Aled Islwyn for the Welsh-language Award announced the six shortlisted titles which are now in contention for the two £10,000 prizes.

For the English-language shortlist the judges have chosen poet Dannie Abse’s remarkable memoir about his late wife,  The Presence  (Hutchinson), novelist Tom Bullough’s powerful drama set in the Welsh borders,  The Claude Glass  (Sort Of Books), and Nia Wyn’s moving account of her son’s cerebral palsy,  Blue Sky July  (Seren/Penguin).

The judges for the 2008 English-language Award are academic and literary critic Damian Walford Davies; writer and broadcaster Trevor Fishlock and journalist and broadcaster Mavis Nicholson.

Trevor Fishlock commented: "The books on the shortlist are there for their outstanding writing.  They are strong books, strong stories.  They speak of the vigour of writing in Wales.It’s going to be a close-run thing."

The shortlists for the Welsh-Language Award are: Pryfeta  by Tony Bianchi (Y Lolfa);  Dauwynebog  by Ceri Wyn Jones (Gomer) and  Y Proffwyd a’i Ddwy Jesebel  by Gareth Miles (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch).  The judges are academic and poet Huw Meirion Edwards; author and former winner of the Wales Book of the Year (1995) Aled Islwyn and broadcaster and S4C presenter Siân Thomas.

Peter Finch, Academi Chief Executive said: "The Wales Book of the Year has again highlighted six of the best creatively-written books by six of our top authors.  The mix could not be better - new voices, high achievers, work that entrances, work that uplifts, work that marks Wales as a powerful literary land."

Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM, Minister for Heritage, said: "Wales has one of the oldest literary traditions in Europe and this award helps to ensure that writing in both our national languages continues to flourish. I’m delighted to be here this evening to celebrate the variety and wealth of literary talent that Wales has to offer, and to hear more about the inspiration behind these fascinating and moving new works."

The winners will be announced on Tuesday, 1 July 2008, in a gala dinner at the Hilton Hotel, Cardiff, when each language winner will receive a cheque for £10,000 and the four runners-up will receive  £1,000 each.

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