Every ten years if the English literary magazine Granta published his list of the best young novelists, something of a new cycle seems to be beginning in the English literary world. Suddenly, the spotlight is on writers who, up to that point, have hardly found a publisher. TV cameras are set up, intercontinental reading trips are booked, and translation licenses are sold.
The list for 2013 included the authors Ned Beauman, Xiaolu Guo and Taiye Selasi, who were also translated into German. Adam Thirlweel and Zadie Smith made the list for the second time in 2013, previously only managed by Adam Mars-Jones, Kazuo Ishiguro and AL Kennedy.
“No gossip, no favours, no legends about what the market wants”
Granta has now published his 2023 list, which includes in alphabetical order: Graeme Armstrong, Jennifer Atkins, Sara Baume, Sarah Bernstein, Natasha Brown, Eleanor Catton, Eliza Clark, Tom Crewe, Lauren Aimee Curtis, Camilla Grudova, Isabella Hammad, Sophie Mackintosh, Anna Metcalfe, Thomas Morris, Derek Owusu, K Patrick, Yara Rodrigues Fowler, Saba Sams, Olivia Sudjic and Eley Williams.
Some of them can already be read in German: Natasha Brown’s novel “Meeting” for example, was published by Suhrkamp in 2022, Eleanor Catton’s novel “Die Gestirne” by btb in 2017, Camilla Grudova’s story collection “Das Alphabet der Puppen” by culturbooks.
The Scottish author AL Kennedy, who was once chosen by a jury that included Salman Rushdie and later became a member of the jury herself, once described the ethos of the list in an essay as follows: One is looking for novels that start with prose , the reader and the form did something that was outstanding. “No gossip, no favours, no legends about what the market wants or whether this or that could be considered too difficult” – the only thing that counts is the will to excellence.