A six-person shortlist has been revealed ahead of the Portico Prize 2022 award ceremony.

To be eligible for the prize, a book should have a central theme or subject that engages with some aspect of the North, whether that be through place, character or sensibility.

The prize intends to celebrate the diversity of the North, engaging public interest in Northern stories, voices and places.

Entries have now been whittled down to six names—all of which can be found below along with the synopsis of each book.

Ghosted by Jenn Ashworth

“Set in an unnamed northwestern university city and cleverly playing with tropes of ghost stories and murder mysteries, Ghosted marries tragedy with ink-black humour in the story of a woman whose husband disappears.”

The Outsiders by James Corbett

“The world of a young man in 1980s Liverpool is turned on its head when he meets a mysterious poet and his daughter in this gloriously crafted debut novel that mines the question of how we control the present with the past.”

The Family Tree by Sairish Hussain

“As compassionate as it is unflinching, Hussain’s poignant debut about a British Muslim father and his two children tells an inter-generational story of love, loyalty and hope.”

Sea State by Tabitha Lasley

“As unflinching as it is gripping, Lasley’s powerful exploration of class, masculinity and living in a dangerous all-male environment blends journalism and memoir to a magnificent effect.”

Toto Among the Murderers by Sally J. Morgan

“A reckless art school graduate in 1970s Leeds falls in with the wrong crowd in Morgan’s heartwrenching and startlingly beautiful novel that explores the life of young women on the margins of society.”

Mayflies by Andrew O’Hagan

“Evoking a fully-rounded friendship with wit and psychological truth, O’Hagan’s masterful novel charts an epic night of debauchery in 1980s Manchester and its tragic aftermath thirty years later.”

The responsibility of picking a winner will fall to broadcaster Melanie Sykes (also Editor-in-Chief of The Frank Magazine and co-presenter of the Sykes & Savidge Book Club), journalist, author, broadcaster and academic Gary Younge, poet and essayist Momtaza Mehri, and arts and entertainment editor at The Daily Telegraph Anita Singh.

The online award ceremony will take place on Thu 20 Jan—you an RSVP and claim your free spot using the button below. There will also be a special evening of readings from each of the award-nominated writers on Wed 19 Jan.

Thu 20 Jan
Bradley Lengden
Published on:
Thu 30 Dec 2021