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Edemariam awarded 2019 Ondaatje Prize

In the UK, Guardian journalist Aida Edemariam has won the Royal Society of Literature’s Ondaatje Prize for her memoir The Wife’s Tale: A Personal History (Fourth Estate), which tells the story of her grandmother’s life in Ethiopia.

Now in its 15th year, the annual £10,000 (A$18,600) prize is awarded for ‘a distinguished work of fiction, nonfiction or poetry, evoking the spirit of a place’.

‘Aida Edemariam mixes memoir, oral history, fiction and snatches of prayer to compose this beautiful, complicated, sensual account of her grandmother’s life,’ said prize judge Michèle Roberts. ‘Her original form and newly minted language create a strong, delicate structure embodying her grandmother’s spirit and will to survive.’

The winner of the 2018 Ondaatje Prize was Pascale Petit, for her poetry collection Mama Amazonica (Bloodaxe Books).

For more information about the prize, visit the website.

 

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