Lyre on the East Midlands Book Award Shortlist

The Descent of the LyreWell, I’m tremendously excited to announce—at the end of a very long and very busy day at the States of Independence independent publishers’ fair here at De Montfort University—that my novel, The Descent of the Lyre, is on the shortlist of the East Midlands Book Award.

I’m absolutely delighted with this news. The novel is published by Roman Books, a relatively new press with considerable ambitions, and I’m up against some formidable contenders. The full list is here:


  • Will Buckingham – The Descent of the Lyre, Roman
  • John Gallas – Fresh Air, and The Story of Molecule, Carcanet
  • Graham Joyce – Some Kind of Fairy Tale, Orion
  • Jon McGregor – This Isn’t the Sort Of Thing That Happens To Someone Like you, Bloomsbury
  • Alison Moore – The Lighthouse, Salt
  • Neil Roberts – A Lucid Dreamer, The Life of Peter Redgrove, Random House
  • Jonathan Taylor – Entertaining Strangers, Salt


This is an impressive list by any standards, and it makes me realise what a darned literary part of the country I live in. As an example of the calibre of some of my fellow shortlisted writers, Jon McGregor won the 2012 International IMPAC Dublin award, whilst Alison Moore was also shortlisted for the Booker. It’s good, too, to be nominated alongside my colleague and very good friend, the Jonathan Taylor.

The final award will be announced in June. Which gives you time to buy all the books on the list, and make up your own mind…

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