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Julian Gough's iHole shortlisted for BBC Literary Award
“I'm ridiculously happy that my story has made the shortlist,” he tells Hot Press...
The Hot Press Newsdesk, 20 Sep 2012
Former Toasted Heretic frontman-turned-novelist Julian Gough has been shortlisted for the prestigious BBC International Short Story Award – which boasts a not-to-be-sneezed-at first prize of £15,000 sterling - for his controversial satire The iHole.
“It was a bugger to get the story past the lawyers,” the Berlin-based writer tells Hot Press. “The iHole is a very dark comedy, set a year or two in the future, when a company bearing a slight resemblance to Apple bring out the latest must-have consumer device - a portable black hole. Everyone wants one. And soon, everyone has one. Hey, what could possibly go wrong?”
The shortlist of ten includes writers from the UK, South Africa, Bulgaria, Korea, and the United States. Also on the shortlist is Deborah Levy (who adds this to her Booker Prize shortlisting last week), and MJ Hyland (who was Booker Prize shortlisted in 2006 for Carry Me Down.)
Having won the BBC National Short Story Competition in 2008, Gough is definitely in with a chance. “I'm ridiculously happy that my story has made the shortlist,” he enthuses. “If the Booker Prize is the literary equivalent of an Olympic gold in the marathon, then this is like qualifying for the 100 metres final.
“Short stories are over so fast, every step has to be perfect; an incredible amount of unseen preparation goes into their single, explosive burst of energy. And some of the best writers in the world specialise at this length. So, to find myself up against the Usain Bolts of the form is an incredible feeling. May the best writer win."
Read by Irish actor Andrew Scott (Saving Private Ryan, Band Of Brothers), The iHole will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4, at 3.30pm, on Friday, September 28. The winner will be announced on October 2.
Meanwhile, here’s a GAF TV film of Gough tripping around some old Galway haunts in the company of Hot Press’ Olaf Tyaransen...