Author Archives: Desmond

Preti Taneja: Journey to Publication

Preti Taneja’s debut novel We That Are Young is shortlisted for this year’s Desmond Elliott Prize. We spoke to her about her journey to publication and her advice for aspiring authors. What did you learn from the process of writing your debut? That for me, writing is a question of feeling doubt more than anything […]




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Judging the Desmond Elliott Prize: Sam Llewellyn

Sam Llewellyn – 2012’s chair of judges – has worked as a novelist, columnist and editor ever since Desmond Elliott himself commissioned Sam’s first novel in 1976. His children’s books include the Little Darlings series, and the Lyonesse series, a reimagining of the Arthurian canon. He is also Editor and Publisher of the Marine Quarterly – a journal […]




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Paula Cocozza: Journey to Publication

Paula Cocozza’s debut novel How To Be Human is shortlisted for this year’s Desmond Elliott Prize. We spoke to her about her journey to publication and her advice for aspiring authors. What did you learn from the process of writing your debut? To persist. To dwell in the emotional space and landscape of the story. […]




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DESMOND ELLIOTT PRIZE SHORTLIST 2018

DESMOND ELLIOTT SHORTLIST EXPLORES IMPACT OF SOCIAL ISOLATION AND IMPORTANCE OF HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS “Each of these three novels is distinguished by a striking and vivid narrative voice, a gift for storytelling, and a wise and humane gaze; and it is especially thrilling to bring to readers’ attention deserving debuts that might have thus far fallen […]




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Q&A with Imogen Hermes Gowar

We spoke to Imogen Hermes Gowar about her debut novel, The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock, and what it’s like to be longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize. One September evening in 1785, the merchant Jonah Hancock hears urgent knocking on his front door. One of his captains is waiting eagerly on the step. He has […]




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Q&A with Andrew Meehan

We spoke to Andrew Meehan about his debut novel, One Star Awake, and what it’s like to be longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize. A young woman comes to in the Paris restaurant in which she apparently works – she has survived some kind of trauma, but her memories haven’t. Something tells her there has […]




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Q&A with Gail Honeyman

We spoke to Gail Honeyman about her debut novel, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, and what it’s like to be longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize. Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two […]




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Q&A with Francesca Hornak

We spoke to Francesca Hornak about her debut novel, Seven Days of Us, and what it’s like to be longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize. It’s Christmas, and the Birch family is gathering for the first time in years. Emma is elated at having everybody under one roof, but her eldest child, Olivia is only […]




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Q&A with Preti Taneja

We spoke to Preti Taneja about her debut novel, We That Are Young, and what it’s like to be longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize. Money, power, corruption and desire. Unimaginable wealth. Unspeakable hardship. A family divided. When Jivan Singh returns to his childhood home after a long absence, it’s only to witness the unexpected […]




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Q&A with Carmen Marcus

We spoke to Carmen Marcus about her debut novel, How Saints Die, and what it’s like to be longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize. Ellie Fleck has a question for everything – but there is one she cannot ask. Where have they taken her mother? Ten years old and irrepressibly curious, Ellie lives with her […]




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