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June 14, 2013

Bakker’s The Detour wins Independent Foreign Fiction Prize

Gerbrand Bakker

Gerbrand Bakker

| By Charlotte Williams

Dutch writer Gerbrand Bakker has won this year’s £10,000 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize with his novel The Detour, published by Harvill Secker.

It is the author’s second major literary prize win; his previous novel, The Twin, won the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2010.

Bakker will share the prize money with the title’s translator, David Colmer [pictured right].

The Detour follows Emilie, a translation professor and Emily Dickinson scholar, who retreats from her life in the Netherlands to an isolated farm house in Wales following an affair with a student.

Boyd Tonkin, literary editor of the Independent and award judge, said: “Swift-moving and apparently straightforward, but with mysterious hidden depths, The Detour is a novel that grips its reader tight and never lets go

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May 22, 2013

Baha Mousa book wins George Orwell Prize


very_british | By Joshua Farrington

The £3,000 Orwell Book Prize for political writing has been awarded to A Very British Killing: The Death of Baha Mousa by AT Williams, published by Jonathan Cape.

A special Orwell Prize was given to the late Marie Colvin’s On the Front Line (HarperPress).

A Very British Killing follows events in Basra in 2003.

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May 20, 2013

Hensher wins Ondaatje Prize

Philip Hensher

Philip Hensher

| By Charlotte Williams

Philip Hensher’s Scenes from an Early Life (Fourth Estate) has won the £10,000 2013 Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize.

The book, a semi-fictional account of the childhood of Hensher’s Bengali husband, was praised as “an unostentatious tour de force” by judge Margaret Drabble. Author Julia Blackburn, another judge, said: “Hensher performs a fascinating act of ventriloquism, taking on the voice of his Bangladeshi husband, who was born in Dacca in 1970, when East Pakistan was on the edge of fighting a bloody war of independence. Maybe it is the fact of being an outsider, while at the same time being intimately connected with his narrator, that enabled Hensher to describe the hubbub of a country’s political transition with such immediacy; we enter an unfamiliar world with him and smell and taste and hear it on all sides.”

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May 17, 2013

Inaugural children’s book award from Radical Booksellers alliance

breadandroses | Lisa Campbell

A graphic novel about refugees forced to flee their homeland has won the inaugural Little Rebels Children’s Book Award, given by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers.

Azzi In Between by Sarah Garland (Frances Lincoln) was praised by judges for its power and simplicity, as well as tackling a topical and important subject in the contemporary climate.

Fen Coles, director of Letterbox Library, who administered the award, said: “At a time when there are so many damaging myths circulating about refugees and asylum seekers, it is heartening to see a book which tells the truth—and in a way which children can relate to.”

The Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing has also been awarded to a ‘shocking’ account of the working lives of Chinese rural migrants, Scattered Sand: The Story of China’s Rural Migrants by Hsiao-Hung Pai (Verso).

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May 15, 2013

‘Wonderful’ shortlists for Food Writers awards

pomegranates| By Lisa Campbell

The Guild of Food Writers Awards shortlists include a “wonderful diversity of subject matter” for 2013, the organisers have said.

The annual ceremony awards feature categories such as Cookery Book of the Year, Campaigning and Investigative Food Writing, Cookery Journalist of the Year, Food Blog of the Year and Food Broadcast of the Year. This year’s list includes names like Yotam Ottolenghi, who is up for the cookery journalist of the year award for work published in the Guardian’s Weekend magazine. Also on the list is work such as Consider the Fork: A History of Invention in the Kitchen by Bee Wilson (Particular Books), who is nominated for the Food Book of the Year award.

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May 8, 2013

Folio Prize to allow self-published work

folioprize| By  Joshua Farrington

The Folio Prize has confirmed it is to consider self-published entries, a move which has been welcomed by the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi).

Sixty titles on the 80-strong longlist will be put forward by the Folio’s academy, made up of members of the literary community, and it is understood they will be allowed to select self-published works.

The remaining 20 will be called in by judges following publishers writing letters of support for particular titles. Self-published authors will be able to act as publishers and write letters of support for their own titles, which will then be considered to be called in.

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May 7, 2013

Anne Somerset wins Elizabeth Longford Prize

queen_anne | By Joshua Farrington

Anne Somerset’s biography Queen Anne has won the 2013 Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography.

The book, published by HarperPress, was described by chair of judges Professor Roy Foster as: “a psychologically subtle and surprisingly vivid portrait of a ruler who has hitherto remained obscure to her biographers”.

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May 3, 2013

Seren title on Ondaatje shortlist

carsonA title from Seren/Poetry Wales Press has been shortlisted for the RSL Ondaatje Prize, in the running with Zadie Smith, Philip Hensher and Gavin Francis.

Call mother a lonely field by Liam Carson is shortlisted for the £10,000 prize alongside Zadie Smith’s NW (Hamish Hamilton), Hensher’s Scenes from An Early Life (Fourth Estate) and Francis’ Empire Antartica (Chatto). Completing the shortlist is Patrick Flanery’s Absolution (Atlantic) and Names for the Sea by Sarah Moss (Granta).

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May 2, 2013

Mantel, Tremain, Keneally on Walter Scott shortlist

Hilary Mantel

Hilary Mantel

| By Katie Allen

Novels ranging from Tudor England to the battlefields of the Western Front have been shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction, with Hilary Mantel adding another nomination to her prize haul for Bring Up the Bodies (Fourth Estate)

Mantel won in 2010 for Wolf Hall.

The £25,000 prize is rewarded to a book written in English, with the majority of its setting being at least 60 years ago.

 

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April 17, 2013

Moggach and DeWitt on Wodehouse shortlist

Deborah Moggach

Deborah Moggach

| By Katie Allen

Authors Deborah Moggach and Helen DeWitt are both shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction, which has only been won once by a woman in the prize’s 14 years, when Marina Lewycka won for A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian in 2005.

Moggach is shortlisted for Heartbreak Hotel (Chatto) and DeWitt for Lightning Rods (And Other Stories). Previous winners Howard Jacobson and Michael Frayn are also in the running with Zoo Time (Bloomsbury) and Skios (Faber) respectively. England’s Lane by Joseph Connolly (Quercus) completes the list.

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