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Spufford wins £10k Encore Award for ‘Light Perpetual’

In the UK, Francis Spufford has won the £10,000 (A$17,630) Royal Society of Literature (RSL) Encore Award, presented annually to the best second novel of the year, for his book Light Perpetual (Faber).

Described by judges as ‘tender [and] endlessly inventive’, the book resurrects five children killed in a wartime bomb-blast and asks what kind of future these working-class youths would have had.

Light Perpetual is a bold and poignant novel, one that encourages the reader to fully comprehend that the lives of others, even people they have not and will never meet, are as vivid and filled with meaning as their own; a remarkable work of empathy,’ the judges said. ‘This is an assured second novel from Spufford, who has fast become one of Britain’s most exciting fiction writers after his debut Golden Hill.’

Light Perpetual was chosen from a shortlist that also included The High House (Jessie Greengrass, Swift Press), Maxwell’s Demon (Steven Hall, Canongate), The Giant Dark (Sarvat Hasin, Little, Brown) and Asylum Road (Olivia Sudjic, Bloomsbury).