Guardian First Book Award

Guardian First Book Award is a literary award by The Guardian newspaper that annually recognises one book by a new writer. It was established in 1999, replacing the Guardian Fiction Award or Guardian Fiction Prize that the newspaper had sponsored from 1965.

 

2012 selection

The Yellow Birds: A Novel

Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award 2013, Guardian First Book Award 2012

by Kevin Powers

A novel written by a veteran of the war in Iraq, The Yellow Birds is the harrowing story of two young soldiers trying to stay alive.

"The war tried to kill us in the spring." So begins this powerful account of...


2011 selection

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction 2011, Guardian First Book Award 2011

by Siddhartha Mukherjee

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE

The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane “biography” of cancer—from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in...


2009 selection

An Elegy for Easterly

Guardian First Book Award 2009

by Petina Gappah

A woman in a township in Zimbabwe is surrounded by throngs of dusty children but longs for a baby of her own; an old man finds that his new job making coffins at No Matter Funeral Parlor brings unexpected riches;...


2008 selection

The Rest Is Noise

Guardian First Book Award 2008

by Alex Ross

The scandal over modern music has not died down. While paintings by Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock sell for a hundred million dollars or more, shocking musical works from Stravinsky's Rite of Spring onward...


2006 selection

A Thousand Years of Good Prayers: Stories

Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award 2006, Guardian First Book Award 2006, Frank O'Connor Short Story Award 2005

by Yiyun Li

Brilliant and original, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers introduces a remarkable new writer whose breathtaking stories are set in China and among Chinese Americans in the United States. In this rich, astonishing...


2005 selection

Stuart: A Life Backwards

Guardian First Book Award 2005

by Alexander Masters

In this extraordinary book, Alexander Masters has created a moving portrait of a troubled man, an unlikely friendship, and a desperate world few ever see. A gripping who-done-it journey back in time, it begins...


2003 selection

Mountains of the Mind: Adventures in Reaching the Summit

Guardian First Book Award 2003

by Robert Macfarlane

Combining accounts of legendary mountain ascents with vivid descriptions of his own forays into wild, high landscapes, Robert McFarlane reveals how the mystery of the world’s highest places has came to grip...


2002 selection

Everything Is Illuminated: A Novel

PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize 2004, Guardian First Book Award 2002

by Jonathan Safran Foer

With only a yellowing photograph in hand, a young man - also named Jonathan Safran Foer - sets out to find the woman who might or might not have saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Accompanied by an old man...


2000 selection

White Teeth

Commonwealth Best First Book Prize 2001, James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction 2000, Guardian First Book Award 2000, Whitbread Book Award for First Novel 2000

by Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith’s dazzling debut caught critics grasping for comparisons and deciding on everyone from Charles Dickens to Salman Rushdie to John Irving and Martin Amis. But the truth is that Zadie Smith’s voice...


1999 selection

We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families

Guardian First Book Award 1999, Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Current Interest 1998

by Philip Gourevitch

An unforgettable firsthand account of a people's response to genocide and what it tells us about humanity.

This remarkable debut book chronicles what has happened in Rwanda and neighboring states since 1994,...