#FF The Guardian First Book Award

image-mediumNoViolet Bulawayo who was shortlisted for The Booker is among five writers to make this year’s list for the Guardian’s  first book award.

Her book ‘We Need New Names‘ is one of four novels and a non-fiction book that have made the list. The chair of the judging panel , Lisa Allardice, the editor of Guardian Review, describes the authors as  “vibrant, original new talents” saying “The fiction ranges from the last hanging in 19th-century Iceland, to a thriller for the Facebook age and recession-hit Ireland, via NoViolet Bulawayo’s portrayal of post-independence Zimbabwe and the “pleasingly global line-up” includes authors from Australia, Egypt and Ireland.


We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo  Whenever foreigners visit Paradise they always ask Darling and her friends to smile for the camera. Here are some of the things Darling and her friends have to smile about: stealing guavas, gifts from NGOs, singing Lady Gaga at the tops of their voices. But they all want to go to the real paradise in America or Britain

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent  In northern Iceland, 1829, Agnes Magnúsdøttir is condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of her lover. Agnes is sent to wait out her final months on the farm of district office Jøn Jønsson, his wife and their two daughters. Horrified to have a convicted murderer in their midst, the family avoid contact with Agnes. Only Tøti, the young assistant priest appointed Agnes’s spiritual guardian, is compelled to try to understand her. As the year progresses and the hardships of rural life force the household to work side by side, Agnes’s story begins to emerge and with it the family’s terrible realization that all is not as they had assumed

Kiss Me First by Lorrie Moggach – on order! Leila has never met Tess, but she knows more about Tess than anyone in the world. Tess has never met Leila, but she is about to trust Leila with her life. One of them has never really lived, the other can’t face living any more. Together they concoct the perfect lie, but how long will it survive?
The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan  In the aftermath of Ireland’s financial collapse, dangerous tensions surface in an Irish town. Through a chorus of unique voices, each struggling to tell their own kind of truth, a single authentic tale unfolds

Sex and the Citadel by Shereen El Feki – Please reserve this if you would like to read it If you really want to know a people, start by looking inside their bedrooms. As political change sweeps the streets and squares, parliaments and presidential palaces of the Arab world, Shereen El Feki has been looking at upheaval a little closer to home – in the sexual lives of men and women in Egypt and across the region. The result is an informative and insightful account of a highly sensitive, and still largely secret, aspect of Arab society. Sex is entwined in religion, tradition, politics, economics and culture, so it makes the perfect lens for examining the region’s complex social landscape.