It’s time to discover another dazzling debut, thanks to our Desmond Elliott Prize alumni. Today we hear from author, poet, scholar and 2013’s winner, Dr. Ros Barber.

“Debuts are rarely the first thing a writer has written and there is usually a long apprenticeship behind that first novel. In George Saunders’ case he was well-established for his prize-winning short stories. But this doesn’t mean his first novel was an easy undertaking, and Lincoln in the Bardo is astonishing. Confusing at first – what even is it? But allow this plethora of voices to wash over you, and they may carry you away. The originality of its construction, the energy and joy at sentence level, and a gentle humour everywhere: in the concerns of the dead narrators, in the tiny jokes present in a book title or citation, in the conflicting opinions of Lincoln. Above all, it is full of compassion. Compassion is almost its essence. When I want to remind myself of the wonders of humanity again, or I want to fall back in love with writing, this is the book.”

Ros is currently busy writing her third novel, so keep your eyes peeled for new. In the meantime, you can follow her on Twitter @rosbarber.