The inaugural Republic of Consciousness prize had a bumper longlist of 16, with 8 books eventually shortlisted.
We awarded the prize to Fitzcarraldo Editions for Counternarratives by John Keene.
Fitzcarraldo Editions for Counternarratives by John Keene
Counternarratives is a work of great distinction, a once in a generation addition to short form fiction. It moves the form on; it deepens it. Few works of fiction operate on this kind of intellectual and textural level and still remain rooted in the human experience. Spanning four centuries, many countries, using different narrative forms as inspiration, each story unfolds with a control and wisdom that is startling. When compared to this, most other prose seems oddly ingratiating, as if Keene has decided that to ask for our indulgence is to undermine some fundamental truth being enacted in the stories. Few novels are works of art and few works of art are moral acts – this is one of them. And what’s more it’s a pleasure to read. That this set of stories and novellas has not made every shortlist it's eligible for is a travesty.
Buy it here