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Gilligan wins Ondaatje Prize for ‘The Butchers’

In the UK, Ruth Gilligan has won the £10,000 (A$18,000) Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize for The Butchers (Atlantic), a literary thriller set in the Irish Borderlands during the 1996 BSE (mad cow disease) crisis.

Judging panel chair Lola Young said The Butchers ‘is about a moment in time, in a particular place’. ‘It’s been described in many different terms: literary thriller, coming of age story, historical fiction, an account of superstition and the supernatural, but it doesn’t matter how it’s categorised—it’s a page-turning, roller-coaster of a read.’

The Butchers was chosen from a shortlist that also included This Lovely City (Louise Hare, HQ), Box Hill (Adam Mars-Jones, Scribe), Magnolia, 木蘭  (Nina Mingya Powles, Nine Arches Press), English Pastoral (James Rebanks, Allen Lane) and Square Haunting (Francesca Wade, Faber).

Now in its 17th year, the annual prize is awarded for ‘a distinguished work of fiction, nonfiction or poetry, evoking the spirit of a place’. For more information, see the Royal Society of Literature website.


Category: International news