Ondaatje Prize long list

The long list for the £10,000 Ondaatje Prize, for a book that best evokes “the spirit of a place”, was announced this morning by the Royal Society of Literature. The 14 books — four novels, two collections of poetry and eight works of non-fiction — were chosen from 194 entries by the three judges: Francis Spufford, Jan Carson and Xiaolu Guo. A short list will be announced on April 26, and the winner named on May 14.

The long-listed books are:
The Britannias – Alice Albinia 
Falling Animals – Sheila Armstrong 
Thunderclap – Laura Cumming 
Enter Ghost – Isabella Hammad 
Local Interest – Emily Hasler 
Nothing Ever Just Disappears – Diarmuid Hester 
In Search of Berlin – John Kampfner 
A Flat Place – Noreen Masud 
Cuddy – Benjamin Myers 
No Man’s Land – David Nash 
Fassbinder, Thousands of Mirrors – Ian Penman 
Wandering Souls – Cecile Pin 
Two Lights – James Roberts 
Elowen – William Henry Searle.

I see that a BBC programme in the Free Thinking slot from 2019, in which four previous winners of the Ondaatje Prize — Alan Johnson, Pascale Petit, Hisham Matar and Peter Pomerantsev — discuss writing about place, is still available through BBC Sounds.


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