Ultra-minimalist author Linda Hacker has won the Lemon Prize for Fiction's top award of £10,000 for her collection of short stories, the provocatively-named ‘Untitled’. The book consists of eight stories, varying between one and twenty pages in length, all of which are blank. The Contents page is also blank.
Hacker believes that her stories “give free rein to the reader’s imagination. I have deliberately absented the traditional omniscient author from my work, as well as the device of the unreliable narrator. I think my work is a beautiful creative collaboration between myself, my readers and my publisher, who does such excellent work in sourcing the paper.”
Her work has continually evolved, from the relatively prolix ‘Full Stop’ (which consists of a full stop artfully positioned at the bottom of an otherwise blank page) to the recent passionate denunciation of unequal healthcare which is ‘Colon’ (which consists of a colon artfully positioned at the bottom of an otherwise blank page).
Never one to rest on her laurels, Hacker is already hard at work on an epic novel which could consist of as many as 800 blank pages. ‘It’s exhausting, but I will just have to see where my muse takes me, ‘ she says. Beyond this, she also harbours poetical ambitions. ‘One day I would really like to create an epic in blank verse.’