At a great event at Foyles’ flagship Charing Cross branch on Friday, The Green Carnation Prize was awarded to Anneliese Mackintosh’s ANY OTHER MOUTH (Freight). Originally awarded to the best book by a gay male author writing in English, the prize has been expanded to include the best form of written word by an LGBT* person, including those in translation. Mackintosh beat off competition from fellow Blake Friedmann authors Kerry Hudson (THIRST) and Laurie Penny (UNSPEAKABLE THINGS), as well as Niven Govinden (ALL THE DAYS AND NIGHTS), Kirsty Logan (THE RENTAL HEART AND OTHER FAIRYTALES) and Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt (INVISIBLE LOVE).
ANY OTHER MOUTH is a viciously funny, gut-wrenching and shockingly frank account of sexual misadventure, familial disintegration, loss, hope and self-discovery. Part short story collection, part fictionalised memoir. A highly personal work, Anneliese takes the most intense episodes of her life so far, and reimagines them into profound, playful and poignant tales.
Chair of the judges, journalist Kaite Walsh, said of ANY OTHER MOUTH: “Choosing a winner out of such an excellent shortlist should have been difficult, but we were all unanimous in ANY OTHER MOUTH, a raw, uncompromising debut by Anneliese Mackintosh that defies categorization. It isn’t quite a short story collection or a novel and, as she tells us at the very beginning, it’s only almost a memoir. In the end, the only category ANY OTHER MOUTH fits neatly into is the one of very, very good books. It stood out on a first reading for everyone, and we found that every conversation we had kept circling back to it. Grief, sex, family, growing up – there’s no theme here that isn’t universal, but in Anneliese’s hands they seem painfully personal. Rarely does a memoir or a short story collection bring you into the mind of the author quite so intimately. We were all struck by how skillfully Anneliese drew the fragments of her story together – it’s a masterclass in storytelling through non-linear narrative.”
Simon Heafield, Marketing Manager for the prize’s partner Foyles, said: “We’re thrilled that Anneliese Mackintosh has won, out of such a strong and diverse shortlist. This is a book that straddles the genres of fiction, memoir and short stories with great aplomb, and its winning the prize provides us with a great chance to put the book into the hands of more customers and help give such a talented writer the readership she clearly deserves.”
Praise for ANY OTHER MOUTH:
‘A fantastic, cleanly focused book that's hilarious and heartbreaking...’ – Guardian
‘Fresh and original… Mackintosh is a real talent and Any Other Mouth is a remarkable debut.’ – The Independent
‘The voice of the next generation… heart-wrenching, cheeky, profound and at the same time utterly stylish’ – Ewan Morrison, author of Close Your Eyes