Introversion Has Its Limits

Adam Mars-Jones

  • Essayism by Brian Dillon
    Fitzcarraldo, 138 pp, £10.99, June 2017, ISBN 978 1 910695 41 8
  • Sound: Stories of Hearing Lost and Found by Bella Bathurst
    Wellcome, 224 pp, £8.99, February, ISBN 978 1 78125 776 0
  • Proxies: A Memoir in Twenty-Four Attempts by Brian Blanchfield
    Picador, 181 pp, £9.99, August 2017, ISBN 978 1 5098 4785 3

The essay can seem to be the cosy heartland of belles-lettres, a place where nothing urgent is ever said. Recently, though, publishers have seemed willing to take on and even promote this landlocked genre. Notting Hill Editions, which publishes essays exclusively, has established a prize of £20,000 for an unpublished submission of up to 8000 words. Fitzcarraldo awards a prize of £3000 to a book-length essay (minimum 25,000 words) not yet taken on by a publisher.

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