Colette Victor, Jeff Hayden and Nicola White in the running for Dundee International Book Prize 2013

Colette Victor, Jeff Hayden and Nicola White in the running for Dundee International Book Prize 2013

Nicola White / Photo: Ruth Clark

We talk to all three authors ahead of the £10000 prize announcement

With such an eclectic shortlist for this year’s Dundee International Book Prize, it seems the judges (including AL Kennedy, Lorraine Kelly and Brian Cox) have a tough decision ahead. Meanwhile, finalists Colette Victor, Jeff Hayden and Nicola White all have their fingers crossed for their entries.

Victor’s What to Do With Lobsters in a Place Like Klippisfontein is influenced by one of her favourite novels. ‘I absolutely loved the way Harper Lee wrote To Kill a Mockingbird,' she explains. 'So slow, so patient and yet the story keeps you in its grips. I wanted to write a South African story that unfolded in one of our typical, conservative small-towns, where the telling itself reflected the mentality of the place.’

Second finalist Hayden explains how his novel, Mango, set in 1950s Puerto Rico, is an allegory inspired by an unsolved murder: ‘As a child growing up on the islands, I was familiar with the events, and set myself the task of working them into a compelling narrative.’

Finally, White’s In the Rosary Garden is also inspired by true events. ‘There was a real-life murder case in Ireland in 1984, known as The Kerry Babies, which became a kind of turning-point – or perhaps warring-point – of public opinion. It formed the germ of the idea and the time-setting of the early 80s.’ The winner, who receives £10,000 and a publishing deal from Cargo, will be announced on Thursday 24 October.

Dundee Literary Festival, Bonar Hall, Dundee, Thu 24–Sun 27 Oct.

Dundee Literary Festival

Launched in 2007, the Dundee Literary Festival is a university-led event celebrating ideas, words and books. Bonar Hall serves as the festival hub, with a pop-up bookshop and Ms Battenberg’s Travelling Tea Room creating a haven for bookworms. The programme covers a mix of literary genres, including crime, autobiography…

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