2021 - Shortlisted
The Inland Sea is an intense coming-of-age novel set against a background of impending climate catastrophe. The unnamed narrator is a talented but fragile young woman bent on self-destruction who works in a call centre connecting emergency services. The narrative is spliced with her digressive preoccupations with emergency at large, both environmental and historical. She observes our sundry failures with a vision that veers from the darkly humorous, to the penetratingly ironic, to the outright bleak. The Inland Sea is a dense, poetic and self-assured work from a strong new voice.