We’re incredibly pleased and proud that Brock by Anthony McGowan is on the long list for the prestigious Carnegie Medal. It’s exciting for any publisher to see one of its books on the Carnegie list but we are especially thrilled as we publish books that are a little different from the norm. We’re forever banging on about the power of the short novel and it’s wonderful to see that the Carnegie committee agree with us that the length of a book is in no way indicative of the value of the story within.
We’re also delighted for Tony McGowan, who has written us two wonderful books in Brock and 2011’s The Fall, of which Inis Magazine said: “This book is an example of how well a really good writer can work within constraints of language, structure and create a fine work for adults, young and old, just as a poet can create a great poem within the constraints of form, rhyme and metre.”
Brock is the story of Nicky and his dysfunctional family ”“ his father is on bail, his mother is gone and his brother Kenny has the emotional capacity of a younger child. Kenny is the catalyst for the story, dragging Nicky out of bed and into the horror of a badger hunt. It is a story of difficult lives, but it celebrates the redemptive power of nature and of family love. It touches on many of the same themes as A Kestrel for a Knave, and reminds us both that society still routinely fails many children and young people, and that childhood and young adulthood have not changed so much as we might imagine since Barry Hines’s novel was published in 1968.
See the full Carnegie longlist here.
You can buy Brock here or read the first chapter below: