The Windham-Campbell Prize has been going for five years now and their list of eight recipients for this year’s prize have just been announced. It’s one of the richest book awards in the world as each winner of the prize is awarded $165,000 – a considerable amount that grants authors the freedom to write whatever they please. You can watch me discussing this book award and this year's winners here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lP-P97xLolI&t=191s. Some of the past recipients whose books I’ve enjoyed include Jerry Pinto, CE Morgan, Tarell Alvin McCraney and Nadeem Aslam.
This year’s winners include Lucas Hnath, Suzan-Lori Parks, Sarah Bakewell, John Keene, Lorna Goodison and Cathy Park Hong. And I’m particularly happy to see Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi has won the prize as I read and admired her novel "Kintu" so recently. Also, Olivia Laing who is a wonderful cultural critic and nonfiction writer. Her book “The Lonely City” was one of my favourite books from 2016. So I’ll be really eager to discover the writing of these other winning authors.
If you could give a living author $165,000 to write whatever they please, who would you award it to? It’s a fun question to contemplate – like imagining what you’d do if you won the lottery, but instead it’s money you can grant to a favourite writer. An author I’d certainly like to endow with such financial freedom would be Garth Greenwell as he’s such an ingenious writer with such promise.