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The East Anglian Book Awards 2019 Shortlist

Dear reader,

In just under a fortnight Jarrold book department will be celebrating the East Anglian Book Awards 2019, the twelfth instalment of these coveted annual literary awards that we run in partnership with the EDP and the National Centre for Writing, supported by the UEA Faculty for Arts and Humanities and the PACCAR Foundation.

The aim of the awards is to recognise the very best of publishing, writing and reading in the region - to celebrate the range and quality of literary work both about East Anglia and by writers based in the area. There are six categories, with three books shortlisted in each, all of which you can read about below. From books about the history of East Anglia's heritage to novels by local authors and stories for children, there is something for everyone.

The winners will be announced on Friday 15th November at a special literary lunch, where three guest authors from East Anglia will also share how the county has influenced their own writing: novelist Rachel Hore (The Love Child), memoirist and nature writer Edward Parnell (Ghostland) and author of a moving new biography, Sarah Passingham (Push: My Father, Polio and Me).

Do join us on the 15th to celebrate the best of East Anglian writing or enjoy browsing the categories shortlists below where you'll find plenty of inspiration. Congratulations and good luck to all those shortlisted!



The Anatomical Venus by Helen Ivory

The Anatomical Venus

Helen Ivory 

Bloodaxe Books

An Anatomical Venus was an eighteenth-century anatomical wax sculpture of an idealised woman. Helen Ivory's fifth collection takes this as its title, examining how women have been portrayed as `other'; as witches; as hysterics, and as beautiful corpses. Helen Ivory is a lecturer for the UEA/National Centre for Writing online creative writing programme and edits the webzine Ink Sweat and Tears.


The Built Moment by Lavinia Greenlaw

The Built Moment

Lavinia Greenlaw

Faber & Faber

Greenlaw's new collection examines shifting patterns of time, through the prism of her father's slide into dementia and her ensuing grief. This happened in East Anglia, where she also used to live. The poems explore moments of experience; beginnings and endings, arrivals and departures, and the moments we fix as memories, whether of joy or pain.


Girl by Rebecca Goss


Rebecca Goss

Carcanet Press Ltd

In her distinctive, third collection, Goss explores the emotional and physical connections women make to the world around them, from a woman struck by lightning to a baby who understands shadows. Goss lives and writes in Suffolk and previously won the poetry category at the East Anglian Book Awards for her second collection, in 2013.



General Non-Fiction

Landscape of Towers by Clive Dunn

Landscape of Towers

Clive Dunn

Lasse Press

Launched at Jarrold in the Spring by Dunn and his Norwich-based publisher, Lasse Press, Landscape of Towers is a celebration of 250 of the 1000 churches built in Norfolk in the last 1000 years. Through a combination of photographs and prose, the book celebrates those either left redundant or surviving in various stages of ruination, creating a kind of county-wide record.


Wings Over Water by Alan Marshall

Wings Over Water

Alan Marshall

Mascot Media

The first of two shortlisted titles from Stalham-based publisher Mascot Media, this is the latest in their multi-artist series, here focusing on water birds. The full colour book gathers together the linocuts, etchings, engravings, woodcuts, screenprints and collagraphs of 50 printmakers with an enthusiasm for all forms of this bird.


A Claxton Diary: Further Field Notes from a Small Planet by Mark Cocker

A Claxton Diary: Further Field Notes from a Small Planet

Mark Cocker

Jonathan Cape
RRP £16.99
Jarrold price £13.99

Launched at Jarrold this summer, A Claxton Diary gathers together some of the finest short essays Cocker has written on nature. For seventeen years, the author and naturalist has taken a two-mile walk down to the river from his cottage on the edge of the Norfolk Broads National Park, daily observing the occurrences and patterns of all flora and fauna, insects and weather he encounters.



History and Tradition

From Bears to Bishops: Norfolk’s Medieval Church Carvings by Paul Harvey

From Bears to Bishops: Norfolk’s Medieval Church Carvings

Paul Harvey

Mascot Media

The second shortlisted title from Stalham-based Mascot Media, From Bears to Bishops features the dramatic black and white photographs of Norwich-based Paul Harley, who has scoured Norfolk churches for medieval oak and stone carvings that adorn bench ends, misericords, rood screens, fonts, doorways and more.


Crossing the Bar by Robert Smith

Crossing the Bar

Robert Smith with Zoe Dunford

Mascot Media

Written by former lifeboat man and long-serving Harbour Master at Wells-next-the-Sea, this account tells of the characters and events that have shaped the history and spirit of the historic coastal town. The book is packed with rare archival photos, beautiful illustrations and specially commissioned full colour photographs.


A Very Dangerous Locality by Robert Liddiard and David Sims

A Very Dangerous Locality

Robert Liddiard and David Sims

University of Hertfordshire Press

Robert Liddiard is Professor of History at the University of East Anglia, where David Sims is also an Honorary Research Fellow in History. Together they have written this book on the landscape archaeology of the Second World War on the section of the east coast of England known as the Suffolk Sandlings (the coastal strip from Lowestoft to Felixstowe), an area unusually rich in military archaeology. It is illustrated with plans, maps and wartime photographs, many seen here for the first time.



Biography and Memoir

Eye on the Hill: Horse Travels in Britain by Richard Barnes

Eye on the Hill: Horse Travels in Britain

Richard Barnes

Frontier Publishing

A newly published, illustrated edition of the original 1977 text, exploring the unique perspective of horse and rider, the unusual views of Britain this offers and how this has changed in the modern day. Now with over a hundred photos arranged in the text, which has also been reset, corrected, and enhanced with the notable addition of a three page response to Rural Rider, (1830) by William Cobbett, 'the great contrarian'.


The Photographer at Sixteen by George Szirtes

The Photographer at Sixteen

George Szirtes

MacLehose Press

A memoir of his mother by the award-winning, Norwich-based, Hungarian poet, George Szirtes. The book begins in 1975 as Magda Szirtes dies aged 51, after attempting to take her own life. It flows backwards to explore her life: her experience as a mother, the family's flight from Hungary in 1956, her time in two concentration camps, her girlhood as an ambitious photographer and her vanished family in Transylvania.


The Easternmost House by Juliet Blaxland

The Easternmost House

Juliet Blaxland

Sandstone Press

Written from the kitchen table of the eponymous house which sits at the easternmost edge of England in Suffolk. In June 2015, the house was 50 paces from the edge. Now, it is 25 paces away. The book describes a year of life on a crumbling cliff, in all weathers, meditating on nature and coastal erosion, living in close proximity to the natural world, the outdoors and the seasons.




I Thought I Knew You by Penny Hancock

I Thought I Knew You

Penny Hancock


In her fourth novel, Hancock tackles secrets and lies, guilt and innocence. Protagonists Jules and Holly have been best friends since university, always there for each other. So when Jules' daughter accuses Holly's son of a terrible crime, neither woman can possibly be prepared for what this means – for their families or their friendship. Penny Hancock works at Anglia Ruskin University and lives in Cambridge.


The Rumour by Lesley Kara

The Rumour

Lesley Kara


A novel about the dangerous power of rumour, which has it that a notorious child killer is living under a new identity, in the sleepy little town of Flinstead-on-Sea. Here, Sally McGowan was just ten years old when she stabbed little Robbie Harris to death forty-eight years ago. But no photos of her exist since her release as a young woman, so who is the supposedly reformed killer who now lives among them? Lesley Kara lives on the North Essex coast.


How it Ends by Saskia Sarginson

How it Ends

Saskia Sarginson

Piatkus Books

A sweeping drama about the anxieties of post-War Britain, set in East Anglia. In 1957, within a year of arriving at an American airbase in Suffolk, the law-abiding Delaney family is destroyed, leaving behind one girl, Hedy. But why, and what did they know? When Hedy discovers a manuscript that her talented twin brother had started months before he died, she decides to finish what he started and piece together what happened to her family.




How to Help a Hedgehog and Protect a Polar Bear by Jess French and Angela Keoghan

How to Help a Hedgehog and Protect a Polar Bear

Jess French and Angela Keoghan

Nosy Crow

This beautifully illustrated book is written by Norfolk-based vet, zoologist, naturalist, entomologist, author and presenter of Minibeast Adventure with Jess on the CBeebies channel. The book teaches young readers about thirteen different habitats - gardens, hedgerows, heathlands, woodlands, highlands, wetlands, the coastline, freshwater, oceans, savannahs, jungles and mountains - and simple everyday ways to protect them.


Between Worlds: Folktales of Britain and Ireland by Kevin Crossley-Holland

Between Worlds: Folktales of Britain and Ireland

Kevin Crossley-Holland

Walker Books

A collection of forty-eight magical and eerie folktales, retold for a new generation by Kevin Crossley-Holland, a Carnegie Medal-winning author and poet who lives on the north Norfolk coast. From a handsome, cocky young man swept up by a dark horseman and cast into a life-or-death adventure to a pair of green children who emerge from a remote hollow and struggle to adapt to a strange new land.


Grumpy Duck by Joyce Dunbar and Petr Horacek

Grumpy Duck

Joyce Dunbar and Petr Horacek

Walker Books

Delightfully illustrated by Peter Horacek, this is an entertaining picture book about a very grumpy duck whose pond has dried up. Not satisfied with her fellow animals' pastimes a black cloud follows her around as she hopes it will rain soon. Dunbar has published more than eighty books, including Shoe Baby and Pat-a-Cake Baby, both illustrated by her daughter, Polly Dunbar. She lives in Norwich.


Literary Lunch and East Anglian Book Awards 2019

Friday 15 November

Join us for a two course lunch and coffee as we announce the winners of the East Anglian Book Awards 2019 with guest authors Rachel Hore, Edward Parnell and Sarah Passingham.


Availability and pricing checked Thursday 31 October 2019

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