Guardian First Book Award

Christchurch City Libraries lists literary prize winners and links to catalogue searches, but we may not hold copies of all titles mentioned.

The award was for any first book, fiction or non fiction, prose or poetry and was awarded from 1999 to 2015.

Before 1999, this award existed in a different format as the Guardian Fiction Prize. The winner was chosen by a panel of judges. The short-list was decided by reading groups organised by the bookstore chain Waterstones.


Physical Winner
Andrew McMillan
Man v nature
Diane Cook
The Fishermen
Chigozie Obioma
Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible
Peter Pomerantsev
Grief Is the Thing With Feathers
Max Porter
The Shore
Sara Taylor


Cover: Young skinsYoung Skins Winner
Colin Barrett
Age of Ambition
Evan Osnos
Do No Harm
Henry Marsh
The Night Guest
Fiona McFarlane
Things to Make and Break
May-Lan Tan


The spinning heart Winner
Donal Ryan
We need new names
NoViolet Bulawayo
Sex and the citadel
Shereen El Feki
Burial rites
Hannah Kent
Kiss me first
Lottie Moggach


The yellow birds Winner
Kevin Powers
Tony Hogan bought me an ice-cream float before he stole my Ma
Kerry Hudson
The art of fielding
Chad Harbach
Sandstorm: Libya in the time of revolution
Lindsey Hilsum
Behind the beautiful forevers
Katherine Boo


Cover: The Emperor of All MaladiesThe emperor of all maladies: a biography of cancer Winner
Siddhartha Mukherjee
Pigeon English
Stephen Kelman
Down the rabbit hole
Juan Pablo Villalobos
The collaborator
Mirza Waheed
The submission
Amy Waldman


Romantic moderns: English writers, artists and the imagination from Virginia Woolf to John Piper Winner
Alexandra Harris
Boxer, beetle
Ned Beauman
Your presence is requested at Suvanto
Maile Chapman
Black Mamba Boy
Nadifa Mohamed
Being wrong: adventures in the margin of error
Kathryn Schulz


Cover: An Elegy for EasterlyAn elegy for Easterly Winner
Petina Gappah
The rehearsal
Eleanor Catton
The wilderness
Samantha Harvey
The selected works of T. S. Spivet
Reif Larsen
A swamp full of dollars
Michael Peel


The rest is noise Winner
Alex Ross
Stalin’s children
Owen Matthews
God’s own country
Ross Raisin
A fraction of the whole
Steve Toltz
A case of exploding mangoes
Mohammed Hanif


Children of the revolutionChildren of the revolution Winner
Dinaw Mengestu
A golden age
Tahmima Anam
Imperial life in the Emerald City
Rajiv Chandrasekaran
God’s architect
Rosemary Hill
What was lost
Catherine O’Flynn


A thousand years of good prayers Winner
Yiyun Li
Everyman’s rules for scientific living
Carrie Tiffany
In the country of men
Hisham Matar
Lorraine Adams
Poppy Shakespeare
Clare Allan


Cover: Stuart: A Life BackwardsStuart: a life backwards Winner
Alexander Masters
No god but God
Reza Aslan
The farm
Richard Benson
Maximum city: Bombay lost and found
Suketu Mehta
Rattawut Lapcharoensap


Mutants: on the form, varieties and errors of the human body Winner
Armand Marie Leroi
Ground water
Matthew Hollis
Natasha and other stories
David Bezmozgis
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
Susanna Clarke
The places in between
Rory Stewart


Cover: Mountains of the MindMountains of the mind Winner
Robert Macfarlane
Brick Lane
Monica Ali
Vernon God Little
D. B. C. Pierre
Into the silent land
Paul Broks
Anna Funder


Everything is illuminated Winner
Jonathan Safran Foer
The only good thing anyone has ever done
Sandra Newman
The impressionist
Hari Kunzru
Don’t let’s go to the dogs tonight
Alexandra Fuller
Mapping Mars: science, imagination and the birth of a world
Oliver Morton


Cover: Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on EarthJimmy Corrigan: the smartest kid on Earth Winner
Chris Ware
Carter beats the devil
Glen David Gold
Wittgenstein’s poker
David Edmonds and John Eidinow
Anthony Blunt: his lives
Miranda Carter
The dark room
Rachel Seiffert


White teeth Winner
Zadie Smith
House of leaves
Mark Z. Danielewski
Catfish and mandala, a Vietnamese odyssey
Andrew Pham
No logo
Naomi Klein
A heartbreaking work of staggering genius
Dave Eggers


Cover: White Teeth We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families Winner
Philip Gourevitch
David Mitchell
Boxy an star
Daren King
The lighthouse Stevensons
Bella Bathurst
No place like home
Gary Younge
The blue bedspread
Raj Kamal Jha