Goldsmiths Fantasy Prize 2020

Given alongside the Goldsmiths Prize this year, which rewards “fiction that breaks the mould or extends the possibilities of the novel form,” is the Goldsmiths Fantasy Prize 2020.

Because the Goldsmiths Prize “is still in its infancy” (established in 2013) and “there is a long and rich tradition of daring and innovative fiction that has had less attention than it deserves,” therefore a hypothetical, “fantasy” prize has been run alongside the real one.

We asked our judges, nominees, winners and friends to select a novel by any British or Irish writer published since 1759 on which they would like, hypothetically, to confer the Goldsmiths Prize in retrospect.

Although the “fantasy” component is the prize itself rather than the books, nevertheless there are genre works sprinkled among the winners.

  • The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne
  • Confessions of an English Opium Eater  by Thomas de Quincey
  • The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg
  • Sartor Resartus by Thomas Carlyle
  • Women in Love by DH Lawrence
  • Ulysses by James Joyce
  • Jacob’s Room by Virginia Woolf
  • At-Swim-Two-Birds by Flann O’Brien
  • Concluding  by Henry Green
  • The Inheritors by William Golding
  • An Episode of Sparrows  by Rumer Godden
  • A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  • Berg by Ann Quin
  • The Unfortunates by BS Johnson
  • The Atrocity Exhibition by JG Ballard
  • In Night’s City  by Dorothy Nelson
  • 1982, Janine by Alasdair Gray
  • Life, End Of  by Christine Brooke-Rose
  • Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban
  • Night  by Edna O’Brien
  • To The Wedding by John Berger
  • The Third Policeman by Flann O’Brien



2 thoughts on “Goldsmiths Fantasy Prize 2020

  1. I don’t know why de Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium Eater is on this list, as it is not a novel, it’s a memoir – a very peculiar memoir, but a memoir nonetheless. (Also very much worth reading).

    I finished Golding’s The Inheritors just a couple of days ago. It is borderline genre, but however it is classed it’s a very remarkable novel. Apparently Golding thought it was his best.

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