MY FAVOURITE DEBUT: LOUISE DOUGHTY

Next up in our series of Desmond Elliott Prize alumni’s favourite debuts, we have award-winning author and 2015’s chair of judges, Louise Doughty.

“As we are in Emily Bronte’s bicentenary year, I can’t resist choosing Wuthering Heights. It wasn’t just her debut, of course, it was her only published novel. Historians seem to agree that there was a second whole book that she destroyed after Wuthering Heights got a distinctly iffy reception – it was compared unfavourably with Jane Eyre. And then, of course, she didn’t live to write any more.

It’s a poignant choice for all those reasons but it justifies its longevity and its place in so many readers’ hearts for its intrinsic qualities alone: compulsive and heartbreaking and true, it’s the work of a mature intelligence and talent and worth many other writers’ entire oeuvres.”

Find her on Twitter @DoughtyLouise.