Novel Written in One Sentence Wins Award

January 9, 2017

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. peculiar / pɪˈkyul yər / (adj.) – uncommon or unusual
Example: This movie seems a little peculiar.

2. for fear that / fər ˈfɪər ðæt / (idiom) – because of fear that a certain situation or event will happen
Example: He went home early for fear that the road would be unsafe at night.

3. experimental / ɪkˌspɛr əˈmɛn tl / (adj.) – done using an unusual or new method
Example: The experimental film combined animation and documentary.

4. short list / ˈʃɔrt lɪst/ (n.) – a list of applicants or entries that are likely to be chosen for something
Example: The job applicant was happy to be part of the short list for the position.

5. groundbreaking / ˈgraʊndˌbreɪ kɪŋ / (adj.) – relating to something that is original or meant to start something new
Example: The groundbreaking research was the first to study the effects of horror films.


Read the text below.
A novel written using only a single sentence has won a prize for introducing a new way to write a novel.

Mike McCormak’s Solar Bones was awarded the Goldsmiths Prize, an award that recognizes works that open new possibilities for writing novels.

Solar Bones is set on All Souls Day in November 2008. The entire story runs in the head of the ghost of a middle-aged engineer named Marcus Conway. In the novel, Marcus comes back from the dead and recalls memories about his life and about how he returned home as a ghost.

The novel was written in one unbroken sentence. When asked about this peculiar way of storytelling, McCormak said that the writing style was inspired by the fact that Marcus is a ghost. The author assumed that a ghost would think continuously and never stop, for fear that he would suddenly fade or disappear.

McCormak also said that he does not fully remember how he managed to write an entire novel using only one run-on sentence. However, he said that he spent five years completing his work.

McCormak’s work is among the six experimental novels that made it to the Goldsmiths Prize short list. The award-giving body, which began in 2013, was established to give recognition to the best groundbreaking literary works. The award-giving body hopes to encourage writers and editors alike to take more risks in writing. At present, it has already awarded four authors, all of whom were given a cash prize of £10,000 each.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Would you be interested to read Solar Bones? Why or why not?
·         What are other unusual ways to write a novel? Give examples.

Discussion B

·         Why is it important to recognize authors or novelists for their works?
·         Do you think that an author’s ability to write is measured by the awards that he or she receives? Why or why not?

January 9, 2017