Moses McKenzie is 24. His debut literary novel An Olive Grove in Ends is 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 under the Wildfire imprint of Headline Publishing 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’.
Moses has won the 2023 Hawthornden Prize for Literature, a 2023 Somerset Maugham Award, and the Soho House Breakthrough Writer Award in 2022.
His second novel, Fast by the Horns, will be published by Wildfire in April 2024.
He is currently researching his third novel while also working on his first play and an original film script.