The Polari First Book Prize is awarded annually to a debut book that explores the LGBTQ+ experience.
Beautiful, brutal and incredibly assured, Ransom's stunning debut follows Joe's uneasy return to a town awash with unbearable memories, as he renegotiates his place among those he left behind. Having stormed out two years ago, it won't be easy, nor will returning to the haunted river beside the house where words ripple beneath the surface washing up all sorts of memories. Joe turns to his sister, Birdee, the only person who has ever listened. But she can't help him. Then there's Tim Fysh, local fisherman and long-time lover. But reviving their bond is bound to be trouble. As the water settles and Joe learns the truth about the river, he finds that we all have the capability to hate, and that we can all make the choice not to.
Ransom's fractured, distinctive prose highlights the beauty and brutality of his story, his extraordinarily vivid sense of place saturates the reader with the wet of the river, and the salty tang of the sea.
- Browns Books Synopsis
Previous winners include Kirsty Logan, Amrou Al-Kadhi, Diriye Osman, and Mohsin Zaidi. Memoir, fiction, and a significant number of poetry collections are all celebrated in each category.