2019 Republic of Consciousness Prize awards joint winners
In the UK, joint winners have been announced for the Republic of Consciousness Prize, which recognises ‘brave, bold and brilliant’ literature from small presses and is open to publishers with fewer than five full-time employees, the Guardian reports.
The winning titles are Murmur by Will Eaves (CB Editions) and Lucia by Alex Pheby (Galley Beggar Press). Each book wins £3500 (A$6450), with the publishing house receiving a £2500 (A$4610) share of the prize money and the author receiving the remaining £1000 (A$1840).
On Murmur, which is also shortlisted for the Wellcome Prize, judge Catherine Taylor said that the author’s ‘playful, fiercely intelligent interpretation of aspects of the life of a character who closely resembles the brilliant, multifaceted Alan Turing is a dreamlike wonder of memory and consciousness. Its ways are mysterious, its effect deepens with every reading.’
Describing Pheby’s book as ‘mesmerising, rich and strange’, judge David Collard said the author is ‘a magician and–quite literally and breathtakingly–ushers Lucia’s restless spirit into a serene afterlife through the careful application of Egyptian funerary rituals.’
The joint winners were selected from a shortlist of six titles, and organisers decided that finding a sole winner was no longer a prerequisite for judges, because ‘while the competitive dynamic of prizes points readers towards “the best books”, they also create a false hierarchy where “the best” becomes a valid category.’
For more information about the award, see the prize website.