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Anne de Marcken and Jonathan Buckley are joint winners of the 2022 Novel Prize

Anne de Marcken and Jonathan Buckley

Giramondo, Fitzcarraldo Editions and New Directions are pleased to announce that Anne de Marcken and Jonathan Buckley have won the 2022 Novel Prize for It Lasts Forever and Then It’s Over and Tell

The Novel Prize is a biennial award for a book-length work of literary fiction written in English by published and unpublished writers around the world. It offers $10,000 to the winner and simultaneous publication in Australia and New Zealand by Giramondo Publishing, in North America by New Directions, and in the UK and Ireland by Fitzcarraldo Editions. Selected from the submissions of close to 1,000 writers, Anne de Marcken and Jonathan Buckley will share the award, and their novels will be published simultaneously by all three publishers in early 2024.  

The prize rewards novels that explore and expand the possibilities of the form, and are innovative and imaginative in style. Jessica Au’s Cold Enough for Snow, the inaugural winner in 2020, was selected from close to 1,500 submissions worldwide, and was published in February 2022. It has since been sold into over twenty territories, and was the recipient of the Victorian Prize for Literature in 2023.

Anne de Marcken’s It Lasts Forever and Then It’s Over is a spare, haunting novel that asks how much of your memory, of your body, of the world as you know it – how much of what you love can you lose before you are lost? And then what happens? The protagonist is adrift in a familiar future: she has forgotten her name and much of what connects her to her humanity. But she remembers the place where she knew herself and was known, and she is determined to get back there at any cost. She travels across the landscapes of time, encountering and losing parts of her body and her self in one terrifying, hilarious, and heartbreaking situation after another. It Lasts Forever and Then It’s Over plumbs mortality and how it changes everything, except possibly love. Anne de Marcken is a queer interdisciplinary artist and writer living on unceded land of the Coast Salish people in Olympia, WA, in the United States.

Jonathan Buckley’s Tell is a probing, exuberant and complex examination of the ways in which we make stories of our lives and of other people’s. Structured as a series of interview transcripts with a woman who worked as a gardener for a wealthy businessman and art collector who has disappeared, and may or may not have committed suicide, it is a thrilling novel of strange, intoxicating immediacy. Jonathan Buckley is a writer and editor from the West Midlands, now living in Brighton. In 2015 he won the BBC National Short Story Award for ‘Briar Road’, and he is a regular contributor to the Times Literary SupplementTell is his twelfth novel.

Anne de Marcken, on being told of winning the prize, replied: ‘I write with an awareness – a belief – that the work is finished – again and again – by readers. To have It Lasts Forever and Then It’s Over published makes this mysterious, dynamic collaboration possible. To have it published by New Directions, Fitzcarraldo and Giramondo means that this part of the creative process will happen with so much integrity and imaginative force. I am humbled and so grateful.’

Jonathan Buckley said: ‘I’m delighted to be sharing this year’s Novel Prize – it’s a great honour to be joining the lists of Fitzcarraldo, New Directions and Giramondo, three of the boldest and most exciting publishers of contemporary writing.’

The Novel Prize is managed by the three publishers working in collaboration. Submissions were open from 1 April to 1 June 2022, with Giramondo reading submissions from Asia and Australasia, Fitzcarraldo Editions from Africa and Europe, and New Directions from the Americas. The other shortlisted titles for the 2022 Novel Prize include Darcie Dennigan’s Forever Valley, Marie Doezema’s Aurora Australis, Florina Enache’s Palimpsest, Vijay Khurana’s The Passenger Seat, Valer Popa’s Moon Over Bucharest, and Sola Saar’s Anonymity Is Life.