Thursday, 1 May 2008

2008 Orwell Prize Winner

"What I have most wanted to do ... is to make political writing into an art."

George Orwell

The winner of this years Orwell prize is Raja Shehadeh for his book Palestinian Walks: Notes on a Vanishing Landscape.

Independent on Sunday on Palestinian Walks

"Intensely political while avoiding the excesses of pure polemic, Shehadeh's account of six different Palestinian walks continually grapples with misconceptions and misinformation...Shehadeh is always engaging. There's such an eccentricity to his approach, commenting on dinosaur footprints in the rock one moment, challenging Israeli law the next... it's a remarkable way of going about things, delivering what many activists neglect to mention: the odd, slightly absurd details that really touch people; things that appear off-camera, away from news reports - things that seem real."

George Orwell is one of my favourite authors with both Animal Farm & 1984 influencing my writing. This is a great award borne out of a man with a passion to connect people with the grim realities of the political animal that is called polite society.

Also amongst the shortlist was Marina Lewycka's Two Caravans.

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