The Desmond Elliott Prize was won this year by Claire Fuller, for her novel Our Endless Numbered Days. The £10,000 prize is awarded to the year’s best debut fiction, with Fuller triumphing over Emma Healey’s Elizabeth is Missing and Carys Bray’s A Song for Issy Bradley.
In other book news:
Go Set A Watchman, Harper Lee’s much anticipated forthcoming novel – the sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird – was apparently discovered in manuscript form in 2011, rather than last year as previously stated. According to HarperCollins, the draft of the book was unearthed last year by the author’s lawyer as she was going through old documents, but this new tale purports that the draft was found three years earlier by a rare books expert from Sotheby’s, while reviewing Harper Lee’s documents in Alabama.
Though this may not seem significant, it is just another reason to cast a doubtful eye over the proceedings of the publication process here, with the lawyer, Tonja Carter, now legal guardian of Lee’s estate since the author’s sister died last year. The novel itself will be published on the 14 July.
In perhaps the funniest book news of the past week, Fifty Shades of Grey author E L James took part in a Twitter Q&A that ended up being a bit of a misfire. Though starting seriously, the author was asked increasingly ridiculous questions about her series of novels, from whether she has ever used a thesaurus, to questions by her literary haters about why her stories are not seen more widely as promoting abuse.