Moses McKenzie

Moses McKenzie wrote his debut literary novel An Olive Grove in Ends when he was 21. It’s a resonant coming of age story which also offers an intimate portrait - at times tender and lyrical, at others bleak and despairing - of a black-British community in Bristol. The novel’s narrator is Sayon, a young man of Jamaican heritage who struggles to escape the world in which he was raised. He is caught between the opposing claims of his lawless but warmly affectionate extended family and a self-righteous Christianity peddled by Pastor Lyle, father of the girl Sayon has always loved.

An Olive Grove in Ends is published in the UK by Headline Wildfire and in the US by Little, Brown. It was listed as a Guardian Novel of the Year 2022, shortlisted for The Writers’ Guild Best First Novel Award 2023 and, in an influential US review, has been called ‘the most exciting UK debut in years’.

His second novel, Fast by the Horns, set in 1980 in the days leading up to the Bristol riots, is a powerful story of broken dreams and divided loyalties. The Guardian reviewer hails it as ‘an urgent novel of ideas, propelled by the narrator’s wildfire voice’.

Moses has won the 2023 Hawthornden Prize for Literature, a 2023 Somerset Maugham Award, and the Soho House Breakthrough Writer Award in 2022. He is currently researching his third novel while also working on his first play and an original film script.