Bryan Washington’s Houston Inspired Short Story Collection, Lot- Wins the UK’s £30,000 Dylan Thomas Prize

Winner:  Bryan Washington with the front cover of his winning title LOT published by Atlantic Books (UK)

Houston-based writer Bryan Washington began writing LOT in 2016 with an ambition to chart the city of Houston’s geography, focussing in on the interior lives of his marginalised fellow citizens. The collection has been lauded as; gut-wrenching, bruising, profound and shattering, offering a deep dive exploration into the people thriving and dying across Houston’s myriad neighbourhoods. From a young woman’s affair detonating across an apartment complex to the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey LOT presents a formidable yet tender collection of interlinked tales of uncertain existence and a stunning insight into what makes a community, a family, and a life.

After careful deliberation, the winner was chosen by a judging panel chaired by Swansea University Professor Dai Smith CBE who said of LOT, Bryan Washington’s collection of short stories, LOT, does what all great fiction does, finds a style that can open up a world that is otherwise unknowable and he does it with wit and grace. It is a real voice, unique, unforgettable, generous, and warm and one which provides us with a sense of community and the full experience of life. As one of the judges said he has a kickass voice.”

Awarded for the best published literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under, the prize celebrates the international world of fiction in all its forms including poetry, novels, short stories, and drama.

The five other titles shortlisted for the 2020 Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize were: Surge by Jay Bernard (Chatto & Windus), Flèche by Mary Jean Chan (Faber & Faber), Inland by Téa Obreht (Weidenfeld & Nicolson), If All the World and Love were Young by Stephen Sexton (Penguin Random House) and On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong (Jonathan Cape, Vintage).


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