by Phoebe Crompton
Patrick McGuinness‘ debut novel, The Last Hundred Days, has been longlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize. Set in late 1980s Bucharest, during the violent overthrow of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, the thriller follows a young English student as he witnesses the last days of the violent regime. McGuinness’ work has featured in The Reader magazine a few times, with excerpts from the start of The Last Hundred Days published in the Spring 2010 issue. Ordinarily a poet, he turned to prose form to depict a time and place he experienced first-hand whilst working as a teaching assistant at 19. Infused with the vivid style of a thriller, The Last Hundred Days presents the lives of dissidents and students working against the secret police, and experiencing the destruction of the city around them, in totalitarian Romania.
The Shortlist of six authors will be announced on 6th September with the overall winner being declared on 18th October at London’s Guildhall, and will be broadcast on the BBC. We will be keeping our figures crossed for Patrick!