The Shortlist! The YSJ Big Summer Read 2021

Our Big Summer Read team have shortlisted the nominations for this year!  Thank you to all of you who nominated books. All of the suggestions were fantastic and we hope the shortlist reflects a wide variety of styles, forms, and experiences. The shortlist is:

 To cast your vote for the 2021 YSJ Big Summer Read click here.

To find out more about the YSJ Big Summer Read click here.

Voting closes at 23.45 on Friday 25th June 2020 and the winner will be announced here and on Twitter in early July.    

And to find out more about each of the shortlisted texts please read on….

Roger Robinson, A Portable Paradise (2019)   

T.S. Eliot Award winning collection from British Trinidadian poet Roger Robinson. This collection explores (among other things) the legacies of the Grenfell disaster and fatherhood.

Pat Barker, The Silence of the Girls (2018)

Shortlisted for The Women’s Prize for Fiction, Barker’s novel reimagines The Iliad from the perspective of the women of The Trojan War.

Douglas Stuart, Shuggie Bain (2020)  

Shortlisted for The Booker Prize, Shuggie Bain is set in Glasgow in 1981 offers a raw and heartbreaking portrait of a son’s love for his (flawed) mother. 

Jacqueline Roy, The Fat Lady Sings  (2000) 

Selected by Bernadine Evaristo as part of the Black Britain: Writing Back series, this novel,  examines race, class, and mental health in the UK. Set in the 1990s, it follows Gloria and Merle who are living in a London psychiatric ward.

Ocean Vuong, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous  (2019)

A Sunday Times bestseller, and debut novel of award-winning Vietamese-American poet Ocean Vuong, this is a coming of age novel about Little Dog, the son of Vietnamese immigrant parents.

Paris Lees, What It Feels Like For A Girl (2021)

A coming-of-age memoir about Lees’ teenage years in Midlands in the 1990s and early 00s. Paris Lees is a journalist and campaigner and the first openly trans woman to present on BBC Radio 1 and Channel 4 (