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Guardian



Guardian First Book Award 2014

Winner
This magnificent collection takes us to Glanbeigh, a small town in rural Ireland - a town in which the youth have the run of the place.

Boy racers speed down the back lanes; couples haunt the midnight woods; young skins huddle in the cold once The Peacock has closed its doors. Here the young live hard and wear the scars. It matters whose sister you were seen with.


Shortlist

These hard-edged stories follow a cast of misfits and outsiders – from a film star falling for her stunt double to a pole dancer called "Proust" – as they couple, uncouple and recouple with brutal intensity.


When Frida turns up to care for Ruth, an elderly widow living alone in an isolated house on the New South Walescoast, it seems an unexpected blessing. But does Ruth have more to fear from this stranger or the tiger she believes is prowling her house at night? A tensely atmospheric tale about identity, memory and old age.

What is it like to be a brain surgeon? How does it feel to hold someone's life in your hands, to cut through the stuff that creates thought, feeling and reason? How do you live with the consequences when it all goes wrong? DO NO HARM offers an unforgettable insight into the highs and lows of a life dedicated to operating on the human brain, in all its exquisite complexity.

Tells stories of: a young army captain who risked execution to swim from free-market Taiwan to Communist China; a barber who made $150 million in the gambling dens of Macau; and, the richest woman in China, a recycling tycoon known as the 'Wastepaper Queen'.