Ahead of the Booker shortlist announcement this week, we’ve released these two exclusive videos of Booker longlisted author Sam Thompson. Filmed in his office in Oxford, he discusses his debut novel Communion Town, the definition of a city and the books that inspired him. Also shown are Sam’s drawings, which became the novel’s chapter-headings and capture perfectly the spirit of the book.
I’m dumbstruck by the news that Communion Town has been longlisted for the Man Booker prize. What can you say about such an improbable stroke of good fortune for a first novel, other than repeating words like ‘thrilled’, ‘incredulous’, ‘bamboozled’ and ‘er… what?’ That’s what I’ve been doing since they announced the list. Getting a first book published at all feels like hitting the jackpot, so also catching the eyes of judges in a competition like the Booker is ridiculous, embarrassing bounty – more than any first-time writer could sensibly hope for.
Sam Thompson’s Communion Town is out now
‘Dreamlike, gnarly and present, COMMUNION TOWN shifts like a city walker, from street to street’ China Miéville, author of EMBASSYTOWN and THE CITY & THE CITY
‘COMMUNION TOWN is one of those rare creatures – a first novel that combines ambition with humanity. It is a strange, remarkable work’ Tash Aw, author of THE HARMONY SILK FACTORY
To celebrate the upcoming release of Sam Thompson’s COMMUNION TOWN, we’re giving away the first chapter absolutely free, right here. Download it onto your ereader now and enjoy on the bus, on the tube, or however you move around your city.
The committee noted how ‘this longlist reflects a trend in debut fiction of bringing contemporary resonance to some traditional heavyweight themes’, and Wiles’ novel is no exception.