Christopher Nicholson Shortlisted for Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature

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Christopher Nicholson’s AMONG THE SUMMER SNOWS (September Publishing, 2017) has been Shortlisted for the 2017 Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature.

The Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature was established to promote literature by providing an annual award to authors of literary works, the central theme of which is concerned with the mountain environment. The prize of £3,000 commemorates the lives of Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker and is given to the author or co-authors of an original work, which has made an outstanding contribution to mountain literature.

The winner will be announced on November 17th at the Kendal Mountain Festival. Other books on the shortlist include Tommy Caldwell’s THE PUSH and Ed Douglas’ THE MAGICIAN’S GLASS.

As the summer draws to a close, a few snowbeds - some as big as icebergs - survive in the Scottish Highlands. Christopher Nicholson's AMONG THE SUMMER SNOWS is both a celebration of these great, icy relics and an intensely personal meditation on their significance. A book to delight all those interested in mountains and snow, full of vivid description and anecdote, it explores the meanings of nature, beauty and mortality in the twenty-first century.

Christopher Nichsolson is the author of three novels, including THE ELEPHANT KEEPER (Fourth Estate, 2009), shortlisted for the Costa Prize in 2009, and the Encore Award in 2011, and dramatized for BBC Radio 4. His most recent novel, WINTER, about the later life of Thomas Hardy, was published in 2014 by Fourth Estate and also adapted for BBC Radio as TESS IN WINTER.

Praise for AMONG THE SUMMER SNOWS:

‘A beautiful book about love and loss, fragility and chance, the wide world and the near world . . . full of intense light and colour, extraordinary glimpses, moving insights and subtle humour.' – Richard Kerridge, author of COLD BLOOD

'This ravishingly lovely book is about thought-snow, summer snow, flight, falling, stillness, memory, loss, mountains, Time, death, survival and everything in between. It is an intense scrutiny of minute worlds, a roaming gaze into the vastness of space, intimate, introspective and questioning.' – Keggie Carew, author of DADLAND

‘It’s a long while since I read a book that made me laugh and cry within just a few pages … A wrong-footing marvel of a book … touching both death’s void, and love, and the beauty of the natural world at one and the same time and in a way that is all the more powerful for its restraint.’ – Books from Scotland

Praise for WINTER:

'Fine, vivid moments... a strong addition to [Nicholson's] ‎... distinguished oeuvre.' – Thomas Mallon, The New York Times Book Review

'Understated, tender... an entrancing piece of fiction.' – The New Yorker 

'A wonderful novel, moving, gripping and illuminating. Keeping closely to the known facts about the triangular relationship between the elderly Thomas Hardy, his second wife Florence, and the beautiful young butcher's wife and amateur actress, Gertrude, Nicholson has used the resources of fiction to represent their emotional lives with intensity and depth.' – David Lodge 

‘A superb novel... Beautifully written, very moving.’ – John Boyne, author of THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS

THE LAST HORSEMAN shortlisted for Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize

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David Gilman’s riveting Boer War novel THE LAST HORSEMAN has been shortlisted for the Wilbur and Niso Smith Adventure Writing Prize. Established in 2016, the prize is an annual event celebrating the best adventure novels published in the last calendar year. The prize is open to writers of any nationality, writing in English.  

David Gilman is the author of the highly-praised MASTER OF WAR series (Head of Zeus), set during The Hundred Years War and sold in several countries around the world. Gilman’s standalone novel THE LAST HORSEMAN was described by The Historical Novel Society Magazine as ‘packed full of intrigue, adventure and excitement, while The Times said it was ‘gripping and full of action, but also smart and subtle about questions of loyalty and guilt in a war with few good guys.’ David has also written the DANGER ZONE adventure trilogy for younger readers, published by Puffin. 

The six-strong shortlist for this year’s Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize is:
•        David Gilman THE LAST HORSEMAN (Head of Zeus)
•        Frank Gardner CRISIS (Bantam Press)
•        Stef Penney UNDER A POLE STAR (Quercus) 
•        Sara Sheridan ON STARLIT SEAS (Black and White Publishing) 
•        James Swallow NOMAD (Zaffre Publishing) 
•        Graham Hurley FINISTERRE (Head of Zeus) 

The 2017 judging panel comprises: Steve Winter, award-winning National Geographic Photographer; Alex Crawford, Special Correspondent at Sky News; Kevin Conroy Scott, Literary Agent at Tibor Jones & Associates; and Corban Addison, bestselling author and winner of the 2016 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize. The £10,000 prize will be awarded at a ceremony at London’s Royal Geographical Society in September 2017. 

Niso Smith, Founder of The Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation, says: “The Prize is the Foundation’s flagship programme. We are delighted to have received such a high standard of submissions, from both established novelists and writers submitting their debut work of fiction. There are many talented adventure authors writing today and they need to be recognised for their outstanding work. The shortlist really encapsulates the spirit of adventure writing. Each novel allows us a glimpse into different worlds and times, from modern-day to historical settings, and each with clear threats to overcome – whether that’s a fearsome human enemy, societal conventions, or the formidable power of nature.”

Established in September 2015, The Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation is a charitable organisation dedicated to empowering writers, promoting literacy and advancing adventure writing as a genre. 

For more information on the Foundation and the Prize, click here

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See more on David Gilman’s website here.

Praise for David Gilman:

‘What Gilman does superlatively is heart-pounding action.’ — Amanda Craig, The Times

‘Move over Bernard Cornwell!…Historical fiction at its best.’ — Historical Novel Society

‘David Gilman writes so well, managing to stir the blood while moving the reader, at least this one, to tears.' — For Winter Nights

‘Some may notice that there are certain words that are repeated in each of my David Gilman reviews because they're so true they stick to him like a magnet to magnetic stuff. So adjectives like action-packed, exciting and wonderfully researched are a given. Yet only the qualities of the work stay the same; the story is as fresh and shock-filled as each of its predecessors.’ — Ani Johnson, The Bookbag

Monique Roffey’s HOUSE OF ASHES shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards

Monique Roffey’s ‘terrible, beautiful and compelling’ novel HOUSE OF ASHES (Simon & Schuster) has been shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards in the Novel category. Other shortlisted novels include two Booker shortlisted novels: THE LIVES OF OTHERS by Neel Mukherjee and HOW TO BE BOTH by Ali Smith, as well as Colm Toibin’s NORA WEBSTER.

The winners of the five categories – Novel, First Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book – will be announced on 5 January 2015, with the overall winner - the 2014 Costa Book of the Year – being announced on 27 January. The winners of each category will receive £5,000, with the overall winner receiving a further £30,000.

The judges said of HOUSE OF ASHES: “A tautly-constructed story which plots the violence and upheaval of revolution and its  aftermath, it is both moving and memorable.”

HOUSE OF ASHES is Roffey’s third Caribbean-set novel, again adeptly exploring the personal and political against the troubled backdrop of a fictional island ‘paradise’. Inspired by real events, it is haunting story of Ashes and Breeze, two disaffected young men who follow the charismatic Leader into a disastrous coup. Set over the period of the siege of the House of Power, where captors and their hostages see each other’s most brutal but also most vulnerable sides, HOUSE OF ASHES is about fathers and sons, about failures of leadership – but also about how we confront our shadow sides, and about coming through wreckage committed to peace.

Roffey’s THE WHITE WOMAN ON THE GREEN BICYCLE was shortlisted for the Orange (now Baileys) Women’s Prize for Fiction. ARCHIPELAGO was the 2013 recipient of the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature and was shortlisted for the 2014 Orion Prize.

Visit Monique's website here.

Praise for HOUSE OF ASHES:

‘Deploying the deep, humane wisdom that has become [Roffey’s] hallmark… the novel delivers its final, bittersweet coup with a fearlessness and grace that richly satisfies.’ – Liz Jensen, The Guardian

‘Grimly absorbing... Roffey’s knuckle-whitening novel goes to the heart of questions of political temptation and folly; it grips from beginning to end.’ – Ian Thompson, Telegraph

‘[a] laudable piece of literary work.’ – Raoul Pantin, Trinidad Express

‘Monique Roffey’s tragicomic take on this almost forgotten episode, strips revolution of any pretence of glamour… as funny as it is unsettling.’ – David Shaftel, Financial Times