Writers' Prize 5x15 International Shortlist Event

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5x15 and The Writers' Prize present a powerhouse line-up of international writing talent

Paul Murray
The Bee Sting

Paul Murray was born in Dublin in 1975 and is the author of An Evening of Long Goodbyes, Skippy Dies, The Mark and the Void and The Bee Sting. An Evening of Long Goodbyes was shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award and nominated for the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award. Skippy Dies was shortlisted for the Costa Novel award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and longlisted for the Booker Prize. The Mark and the Void won the Everyman Wodehouse Prize 2016. The Bee Sting was shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2023. Paul Murray lives in Dublin.

Zadie Smith
The Fraud

Zadie Smith is the author of the novels White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty, NW and Swing Time; as well as a novella, The Embassy of Cambodia; three collections of essays, Changing My Mind, Feel Free and Intimations; a collection of short stories, Grand Union; and the play, The Wife of Willesden, adapted from Chaucer. She is also the editor of The Book of Other People. Zadie Smith was born in north-west London, where she still lives. The Fraud is her first historical novel.

Laura Cumming

Laura Cumming has been the art critic of the Observer since 1999. Before that, she was arts editor of The New Statesman, Literary Editor of the Listener and arts producer at the BBC. Born in Scotland, educated at Oxford, she now lives in London with her husband and twin daughters. The Vanishing Man, a New York Times bestseller, was longlisted for the Baillie-Gifford Prize, shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize and won the 2017 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Biography. On Chapel Sands, about the disappearance of her mother as a child, was again shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2020 as well as the Costa Biography Award 2019, The Baillie Gifford Prize for Non- Fiction 2019, the National Book Critics Circle Award 2019 and the Duff Cooper Prize 2019.

Naomi Klein

Naomi Klein is the award-winning author of international bestsellers including This Changes Everything, The Shock Doctrine, No Logo, No Is Not Enough, and On Fire, which have been published in more than thirty-five languages. She is an associate professor in the department of geography at the University of British Columbia, the founding co-director of UBC’s Centre of Climate Justice, and an honorary professor of Media and Climate at Rutgers University. Her writing has appeared in leading publications around the world, and she has just launched a regular column for The Guardian.

Liz Berry
The Home Child

Liz Berry is an award-winning poet and author of the critically acclaimed collections Black Country (Chatto, 2014); The Republic of Motherhood (Chatto, 2018); The Dereliction (Hercules Editions, 2021) a collaboration with artist Tom Hicks; and most recently The Home Child(Chatto, 2023), a novel in verse. Liz’s work, described as “a sooty soaring hymn to her native West Midlands” (Guardian), celebrates the landscape, history and dialect of the region. Liz has received the Somerset Maugham Award, Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and Forward Prizes. Her poem ‘Homing’, a love poem for the language of the Black Country, is part of the GCSE English syllabus. Liz is a patron of Writing West Midlands and lives in Birmingham with her family.

Mark O’Connell
A Thread of Violence

Mark O’Connell is the author of A Thread of Violence, Notes from an Apocalypse, and To Be a Machine, which was awarded the 2018 Wellcome Book Prize, the 2019 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, and was shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction. He is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books. His work has appeared in The New Yorker,The New York Times Magazine, Slate, and The Guardian. He lives in Dublin with his family.

Jason Allen-Paisant
Self-Portrait as Othello

Jason Allen-Paisant is a Jamaican writer and academic who works as a senior lecturer in Critical Theory and Creative Writing at the University of Manchester. He’s the author of two poetry collections, Thinking with Trees (Carcanet Press, 2021), winner of the 2022 OCM Bocas Prize for poetry, and Self-Portrait as Othello (Carcanet Press, 2023). His non-fiction book, Scanning the Bush, will be published by Hutchinson Heinemann in 2024. Poetic memoir and ekphrastic experiment, Self-Portrait as Othello imagines Othello in the urban landscapes of modern London, Paris and Venice and invent the kinds of narrative he might tell about his intersecting identities.

Alex Clark

Alex Clark is a critic, journalist and broadcaster. A co-host of Graham Norton’s Book Club, she is also a regular on Radio 4 and writes on a wide range of subjects for the Guardian, the Observer, the Irish Times and the Times Literary Supplement. She is a patron of the Cambridge Literary Festival, and has judged many literary awards, including the Booker prize. She is an experienced chair of live events, and lives in Kilkenny.