Ondaatje Prize goes to Ian Penman

The Royal Society of Literature’s Ondaatje Prize, an award of £10,000 for a book that best evokes “the spirit of a place”, went last night to the music journalist Ian Penman for his study of the late German film director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Fassbinder: Thousands of Mirrors. “The world of European cinema, especially Fassbinder’s film seen through Ian Penman’s eyes, has transported me to a tantalising place called post-war Europe,” said the chair of the judges, the writer Xiaolu Guo. “The book brings me back to my youth and my film-school years in the East and West, and it reminds me of how powerful images have shaped our very understanding of love and life.”

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