Patrick McGuinness wins Wales Book of the Year 2012

13 Jul 2012

Patrick McGuinness wins the 2012 Book of the Year award for his novel  The Last Hundred Days  (Seren).

Patrick McGuinness  has been awarded the Wales Book of the Year Award 2012. After winning the Fiction category for his novel set in 1989 Bucharest,  The Last Hundred Days  (Seren), he was also proclaimed the overall winner. The announcement was made at a ceremony held by Literature Wales at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff on Thursday, 12 July. The winners were presented with their cheques by  Leighton Andrews  Minister for Skills and Education and Chair of the Arts Council of Wales,  Professor Dai Smith .

Patrick McGuinness is already a renowned poet and this, his debut novel, has achieved world-wide recognition, having reached both the Costa First Novel Award Short List and The Man Booker Prize Long List in 2011.

The English-language judges for 2012 were Dr Spencer Jordan (Chair), Dr Sam Adams and Trezza Azzopardi. Spencer Jordan, said of Patrick McGuinness’ novel: "In a world turned upside by the Arab Spring and economic cataclysm, can there be a more apposite or important book than The Last Hundred Days? I doubt it. Set against the backdrop of Ceaucescu’s crumbling regime, the book explores the very human cost when society itself begins to self destruct."

This is the first year that the competition, run by Literature Wales, has included categories.  Richard Gwyn  took the prize for Creative Non-Fiction with his memoir,  The Vagabond’s Breakfast  (Alcemi), and it was Wales’ former National Poet  Gwyneth Lewis  who topped the Roland Mathias Poetry Award with her collection,  Sparrow Tree  (Bloodaxe Books). It proved to be a successful year for poetry as  Philip Gross  was named the public’s favourite, winning Media Wales’ People’s Choice Award for his poetry collection,  Deep Field  (Bloodaxe Books).

The category winners recieved  £2,000 each and an additional  £6,000 was awarded to the overall winner in both Welsh and English.   

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