Jeremy Cooper Wins the Inaugural Fitzcarraldo Editions Novel Prize


We’re delighted to announce that Jeremy Cooper has won the inaugural Fitzcarraldo Editions Novel Prize, an annual competition which awards £3,000 to the best novel (minimum 30,000 words) by a writer resident in the UK or Ireland, and publication on Fitzcarraldo Editions’ fiction list. Cooper was awarded the prize for Ash Before Oak, a novel in the form of a nature diary, obliquely charting the narrator’s slow return to health. 

Jeremy Cooper is a writer, journalist, and broadcaster who has written and published widely on art and antiques. He has appeared regularly on BBC’s Antiques Roadshow and was co-presenter of Radio 4’s The Week’s Antiques. He is the author of four novels and several works of non-fiction. Ash Before Oak will be published by Fitzcarraldo Editions in 2019.

The winning novel was one of 181 submissions, and one of six to be shortlisted. The five other shortlisted entries were:

– Semblance by Thomas Bunstead, a novel about an English translator’s trip at a literary festival in Mexico just after the untimely death of his father. Born in London in 1983, Thomas Bunstead is a writer, editor and translator. His writing has appeared in publications including the Times Literary Supplement, IndependentReady Steady Book>kill authorThe Paris Review and The White Review, and he is an editor at the literary translation journal In Other Words. He has translated Enrique Vila-Matas, Agustín Fernández Mallo, Aixa de la Cruz, Eduardo Halfon, Yuri Herrera and Rodrigo Fresán. 

– The Cremation Project by Andrea Mason, a novel charting, in reverse, the events leading to the untimely death of the twenty-first century art world star Carter Barnard. Andrea Mason is an artist and writer. She has had solo shows (as Andrea + Philippe) at IAS, London and the showroom gallery, and undertaken public art commissions including at the South London Gallery. She has published short stories in The Happy HypocriteFrozen Tears IIIPost-Experimentalism and Bartleby Snopes, among other magazines.

– Tinder and the Moon by Marianne Morris, a hybrid trash-literary/un-romance novel, Tinder critique, and astrology cheat sheet, including terrible sex and a Chorus, about bad romance and the healing industry. Marianne Morris has been performing and publishing poetry in the UK, US, and Europe for over fifteen years. Her most recent collections are World/World (Boiler House Press, 2017) and The On All Said Things Moratorium (Enitharmon Press, 2014). 

– Total Abstraction by David Musgrave, a novel detailing the inner collapse of a university lecturer, Paul Feather, who maintains a degree of coherence as a teacher and a human being until an obscure science fiction film fatally disturbs his sense of self. David Musgrave is an artist and writer based in London. His novel Unit was published in 2015 by LemonMelon. His work as a visual artist has been exhibited internationally, with work in the collections of Tate and MoMA, New York, amongst other institutions. He is a Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Arts.

– Never Connect by Duncan White. Part fiction, part essay, part travelogue, Never Connect follows an unnamed art historian who has lost his second child at birth, and loses himself in the precarious lives of twentieth-century artists who addressed similar forms of absence or disappearance. Duncan White (PhD) is the co-author of Expanded Cinema: Art, Performance, Film (Tate: 2011) as well as the author of many essays and articles on art and film. He is a Research Fellow and Pathway Leader MRes Art: Moving Image at Central Saint Martins, London, where he has worked since 2008. He lives in North London with his wife and two children.

Initially made possible by an Arts Council Grant in 2017, the Fitzcarraldo Editions Novel Prize sets out to reward novels which explore and expand the possibilities of the form, which are innovative and imaginative in style, which tackle subjects and themes relevant to the world we live in.