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Debut novel by PhD student is shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize

Posted on 13 September 2017

Fiona Mozley's debut novel Elmet has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.


Fiona is planning on writing a second book. Picture Credit: John Murray

The novel tells the story of a father and his two children, living in South Yorkshire on the margins of society. The father, a bare-knuckle boxer, builds a house in a copse, but quickly comes into conflict with the landowners.

 “I found writing the novel really complemented my PhD study,” Fiona said. “There’s a lot of creativity that has to go into a PhD, even though it is much more rigorous than writing a novel.

“I'm shocked and delighted to have been shortlisted for the Booker prize. The experience of being on the longlist has been one I will never forget, and it's pleasing that the excitement will continue for another month yet.”

Fiona, who was an undergraduate at Cambridge University, was living in London and working as an intern for a literary agent when she started Elmet four years ago.

Fiona, who comes from York, started writing the novel on a train from York to London as she realised she “missed the landscape of home.”

She continued writing the novel while juggling the demands of her PhD studies at the University’s Centre for Medieval Studies and finished the book last summer. It was published on 10 August by John Murray.

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