Readersforum's Blog

November 30, 2012

Guardian first book award 2012 goes to Kevin Powers

The Yellow BirdsThe Yellow Birds, a novel based on author’s time as a gunner in Iraq commended for ‘extraordinary promise’.

By Alison Flood

Kevin Powers, whose novel The Yellow Birds takes its title from a US army marching song and has drawn comparisons with Cormac McCarthy and Ernest Hemingway, has won this year’s Guardian first book award.

Speaking to the Guardian from Texas in an interview recorded just before the announcement for the Guardian books podcast, he said he was delighted to win the award.

“To have this recognition is really quite incredible,” Powers said, “when I think back to the long hours I spent sitting writing this book by myself wondering if anyone would have any interest in it.”

He began writing as a teenager living in Virginia, he continued, but always thought that “all writers were from New York”.

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