Grand books that prove it’s not so grim up North
BOOKS WHICH “defy the rumour that it’s grim up North” are up for a £10,000 prize.
The Portico Prize For Literature, which was set up more than 30 years ago, awards fiction and non-fiction that “evoke the spirit of the North”.
This year’s shortlist features three debut novels, including
Saltwater by Jessica Andrews, about a girl from Sunderland who moves to London. Ironopolis by Glen James Brown is set on a fictional Middlesbrough council estate, while Black Teeth And A Brilliant Smile by Adelle Stripe is inspired by the life of Rita, Sue And Bob Too playwright Andrea Dunbar, from Bradford.
Other works include Ray Robinson’s novel The Mating
Habit Of Stags, set on the moors of North Yorkshire, which judges called “the perfect northern noir”.
Benjamin Myers’s Under The Rock: The Poetry Of A Place
looks at the meaning of place in modern Britain.
And Graham Caveney’s book,
The Boy With The Perpetual
Nervousness, describes growing up obsessed by music in the North in the 1970s and his experience of sexual abuse.
Broadcaster Simon Savidge, chair of the judges, said: “This list defies the rumour that it’s grim up North.”
SPIRIT OF THE NORTH: The six books that have been shortlisted for The Portico Prize For Literature.