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Mortimer wins 2022 Desmond Elliott Prize

Maddie Mortimer has won the Desmond Elliott Prize for a first-time novelist for Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies (Picador), reports the Bookseller.

Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies is a ‘coming-of-age at the end of a life’ story about Lia, who finds out her cancer is back. Judging panel chair and previous Desmond Elliott Prize–winner Derek Owusu said Mortimer ‘has penetrated the body and spirit of literature, taking an experience, one familiar to so many of us, and making it completely unique’.

‘The experimentation with language, form and ideas, offers us something that is precious and personal to each writer: human truth,’ said Owosu. ‘It’s a courageous feat, and one executed with the wisdom of a sagacious observer. This is a book full of poetry and wonder, interior and exterior examination, sadness, though without the pessimism that sometimes accompanies it, love, and through all things, hope.’

Mortimer receives £10,000 (A$17,800) prize money as well as a year of support and mentorship from the UK National Centre for Writing. Her novel was chosen from a shortlist announced in June.


Category: International news