Lea Ypi wins Ondaatje prize for ‘deeply serious’ memoir, Free

Award given for books that evoke the spirit of place goes to work that chronicles the author’s coming-of-age in Albania during the fall of communism

Academic Lea Ypi’s “darkly humorous and deeply serious” memoir, Free, which speaks “so resonantly to our lived moment”, has won the Royal Society of Literature’s Ondaatje prize.

The award is given for books that “best evoke the spirit of a place”. Free chronicles Ypi’s coming-of-age in Albania at a time when it was one of the last Stalinist outposts in Europe. In December 1990, statues of Stalin and Hoxha were toppled, and life changed overnight for people, who were now able to vote freely, wear what they liked and worship as they wished.

Continue reading...


Maddie Mortimer wins the Desmond Elliott prize for Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies

The ‘sprawling and ambitious’ debut centres on the author’s relationship with her mother, who die...

Read More >

Michael Rosen marks Anne Frank anniversary with new poem

Seventy-five years after Diary of a Young Girl’s publication, Sonnet for Anne Frank reflects on the...

Read More >

‘A little bit addictive and the right amount hard’: new video game is based on poems of Emily Dickinson

The 80s-style shooter EmilyBlaster is a real-life version of a game featured in Gabrielle Zevin’s f...

Read More >

4thWrite short story prize seeks best new writers of colour

Unpublished writers from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds have until 14 August to submit...

Read More >

Malorie Blackman’s ‘dynamic imaginary worlds’ win her the PEN Pinter prize

Noughts & Crosses author praised by judges for ‘challenging issues of injustice in a way that is to...

Read More >

Danica Novgorodoff wins Kate Greenaway medal for graphic novel Long Way Down

Judges praise ‘incredible’ version of Jason Reynolds’ novel while Katya Balen wins the Carnegie m...

Read More >