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John Llewellyn Rhys Prize

The John Llewellyn Rhys Prize rewards the best work of literature (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama) by a UK or Commonwealth writer aged 35 or under.

This important prize is awarded in honour of the writer John Llewellyn Rhys, who was killed in action in the Second World War. It award was founded by John Llewellyn Rhys's young wife, also a writer, who began the award to honour and celebrate his life.

Past winners include Margaret Drabble (1966), William Boyd (1982), Jeanette Winterson (1987), Ray Monk (1990), Matthew Kneale (1992) and David Mitchell (1999). The winner receive £5000, with the other shortlisted authors receiving £500 each.

2008 Winner & Shortlist | 2007 Winner | 2007 Shortlist | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | Past Winners 1942 to 2003

2009 Winner

After the Fire, a Still Small VoiceAfter the Fire, a Still Small Voice by Evie Wyld - It's not just about buy_from_amazongenerations of men affected by war. It's about men everywhere. For any man who's ever felt like an emotional fence post, this is the book for you. I enjoyed it enormously. - Giles Foden

'Intense. Wyld is an absolutely brilliant prose writer. The first chapter is so acute, poetic but not self-consciously literary and all in service to the characters. A fantastically-written novel. But gripping, it works almost as a mystery. Incredibly realistic about men and the trouble they have expressing themselves. - Boyd Hilton, BBC Radio 5 Live

Splendid. There's a point where you realise if you're confident in a writer. For me it was page five. From that point on, I knew I would go anywhere with this author. The book has an incredible, quiet confidence in its own prose. It never raises its voice. I just ate it up. There were two brilliant Australian novels I read this year by Tim Winton and Steve Toltz, which got a huge amount of attention. This is equally good. A masterful piece of writing.- Joel Morris, BBC Radio 5 live

About the book - After the breakdown of a turbulent relationship, Frank moves from Canberra to a shack on the east coast once owned by his grandparents. He wants to put his violent past and bad memories of his father behind him. In this small coastal community, he tries to reinvent himself as someone capable of regular conversation and cordial relations. He even starts to make friends, including a precocious eight year old named Sal. But it is not that easy for him to let go of the past. Leon is the child of European immigrants to Australia, living in Sydney. His father loves Australia for becoming their home when their own country turned hostile during the Second World War. His mother is not so comforted by suburban life in a cake shop. As Leon grows up in the 50s and 60s, his watches as his parents' lives are broken after his father volunteers to fight in the Korean War. More

About the Author

Evie Wyld grew up in Australia and London. She is a graduate of the creative writing MA at Goldsmiths University. Her wyld_eviestories have been published in Goldfish: An Anthology of Writing from Goldsmiths, the National Maritime Museum anthology Sea Stories and in the 3:AM Magazine anthology, London, New York, Paris. Her debut novel is After the Fire, a Still Small Voice, published in August 2009. She lives in London.

In a rare starred review, US trade mag, Publishers Weekly (29/6/09) had this to say about After the Fire, a Still Small Voice...

"One of Granta’s New Voices of 2008, debut novelist Wyld chronicles the stories of two Australian men and the shards of trauma that have made up both lives. Frank and Leon live parallel lives: the narratives begin with young Leon’s father heading to the Korean War, and, 40 years later, with an adult Frank holing up in a decrepit beachfront shack. Leon’s father returns from Korea badly damaged, having been in a prison camp, and soon runs away, with Leon’s mother giving chase. Later Leon is drafted and faces in Vietnam horrors similar to those that traumatized his father. Meanwhile, in the present day, Frank is starting over after his girlfriend leaves him. Making do in the family shack, he befriends his neighbors and threads together a passable existence in spite of remembered tragedies, anger at his shadowy father and a spate of local children gone missing. The two narrative threads stay separate until the final pages, and, refreshingly, their connection isn’t overplayed. At times startling, Wyld’s book is ruminative and dramatic, with deep reserves of empathy colored by masculine rage and repression. (Aug.)"

The 2009 Other Shortlisted
Product DetailsBetween the Assassinations by Aravind Adiga - The dazzling new book from the winner of the buy_from_amazon2008 Man Booker Prize: one of the summer's most eagerly anticipated works of fiction. In "Between the Assassinations", Aravind Adiga brings to life a chorus of distinctive Indian voices, all inhabitants in the fictional town of Kittur...His new book sizzles with the same humor, anger, and humanity that characterized "The White Tiger". On India's south-western coast, between Goa and Calicut, lies Kittur - a small, nondescript every town. Aravind Adiga acts as our guide to the town, mapping overlapping lives of Kittur's residents. Here, an illiterate Muslim boy working at the train station finds himself tempted by an Islamic terrorist; a bookseller is arrested for selling a copy of "The Satanic Verses"; a rich, spoiled, half-caste student decides to explode a bomb in school; a sexologist has to find a cure for a young boy who may have AIDS. More
Product Details

The Striped Worldby Emma Jones -With their tidal imagination, the poems in this debut collection buy_from_amazonsweep between old worlds and new, seeking the lost and recovering the found among shipwrecks, underwater zoos and discovered lands. Emma Jones brings her inventive worlds dramatically to life in a series of vividly distilled meetings: of settlers and indigenous peoples, of seawaters and shore, of humanity and the wilds of nature. Here tigers stalk the captive and the free, while Death encounters his own double and Daphne tells of her new leaves, 'They sing, and make the world.' The same might be said of the poems themselves in this restless and memorable search for belonging. More


Product DetailsSix Months in Sudan by James Maskalyk - James Maskalyk set out for the contested border townbuy_from_amazon of Abyei, Sudan in 2007 as Medecins Sans Frontieres' newest medical doctor in the field. Equipped with his experience as an emergency physician in a Western hospital and his desire to understand the hardest parts of the world, Maskalyk's days were spent treating malnourished children, fending off a measles epidemic and staying out of the soldiers' way. Worn raw in the struggle to meet overwhelming needs with inadequate resources, he returned home six months later more affected by the experience, the people and the place than he had anticipated. Six Months in Sudan began as a blog that he wrote from his hut in Sudan in an attempt to bring his family and friends closer to his hot, hot days. It is a story about humans: the people of Abyei who suffer its hardship because it is their home, and the doctors, nurses and countless volunteers who leave their homes with the tools to make another's easier to endure. With great hope and insight, Maskalyk illuminates a distant place - its heat, its people, its poverty, its war - to inspire possibilities for action. More

Product DetailsThe Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie -From Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie,buy_from_amazon the Orange Prize-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun, come twelve dazzling stories in which she turns her penetrating eye on the ties that bind men and women, parents and children, Nigeria and the West. In 'A Private Experience,' a medical student hides from a violent riot with a poor Muslim woman whose dignity and faith force her to confront the realities and fears she's been pushing away. In 'Tomorrow Is Too Far,' a woman unlocks the devastating secret that surrounds her brother's death. The young mother at the center of 'Imitation' finds her comfortable life threatened when she learns that her husband back in Lagos has moved his mistress into their home. And the title story depicts the choking loneliness of a Nigerian girl who moves to an America that turns out to be nothing like the country she expected; More

Product DetailsWaste by Tristram Stuart - With shortages, volatile prices and nearly one billion people hungry, the buy_from_amazonworld has a food problem – or thinks it does. Farmers, manufacturers, supermarkets and consumers in North America and Europe discard up to half of their food– enough to feed all the world’s hungry at least three times over. Forests are destroyed and nearly one tenth of the West’s greenhouse gas emissions are released growing food that will never be eaten. While affluent nations throw away food through neglect, in the developing world crops rot because farmers lack the means to process, store and transport them to market. But there could be surprisingly painless remedies for what has become one of the world’s most pressing environmental and social problems. Travelling from Yorkshire to China, from Pakistan to Japan, and introducing us to foraging pigs. More

2008 -It's Man's World

The winner of the 2008 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize was The Secret Life of Words by Henry Hitchings (John Murray)

Book Award Tragic Blog Boyz Rule BritLit Highbrow Awards 2008. OK?

The 2008 shortlist in full:
The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
The Broken Word by Adam Foulds
The Secret Life of Words by Henry Hitchings- Winner
The Bloody White Baron by James Palmer
God's Own Country by Ross Raisin
Selling Your Father's Bones by Brian Schofield

WILD WOMEN OF THE CARHULLAN ARMY SEIZE JOHNsarah_hall
LLEWELLYN RHYS PRIZE 2006/7

057123660XSarah Hall (right) has been awarded the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize 2006/7 for her novel The Carhullan Army. The prize was announced at a ceremony at City Inn Westminster on
Thursday evening. Hall received a cheque for £5,000.

The novel, published by Faber and Faber, is a compelling picture of Britain in the near future. Ravaged by a mysterious war, economically ruined and controlled by the faceless‘Authority,’ Britain has become a forbidding and desolate place. The narrator of the story, known simply as Sister, decides to join the self-sufficient and formidable female-only community on the remote farm of Carhullan as they struggle for survival. Suzi Feay, chair of judges, commented:

“Sarah Hall's fierce, uncomfortable story of a radical dissident group holed up in the far
north after the total breakdown of society seemed to all the judges to be the book thatceridwen_dovey
tackled the most urgent and alarming questions of today. The quality of The Carhullan Army was simply unignorable. We need writers with Hall's humanity and insight.”


The 2006/7 shortlisted books were:

Blood Kin – Ceridwen Dovey -left (Atlantic Books)
The Carhullan Army Sarah Hall (Faber and Faber)
Inglorious Joanna Kavenna (Faber and Faber)
The Wild Places– Robert Macfarlane (Granta Books)
Joshua Spassky – Gwendoline Riley (Jonathan Cape)
Occupational Hazards: My Time Governing in Iraq – Rory Stewart (Picador)

The short list and eventual winners were selected by Professor Colin Nicholson and Professor Laura Marcus.

The advisory committee for the awards included:

  • Best-selling crime novelist Ian Rankin
  • Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival Catherine Lockerbie
  • Journalist and broadcaster James Naughtie
  • Best-selling author Alexander McCall-Smith

2005/6 prize winner

The winner of the 2005 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize was Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala, published by John Murray.

Publisher Roland Philips collected the award on behalf of the author, who was unable to attend the ceremony at City Inn, Westminster, on 6 December 2006 (the prize is awarded retrospectively).

2005/6 shortlist

The judges were Courttia Newland (Chair), Lemn Sissay and Benedicte Pagej_trigell

2004/5 -prize winner Jonathan Trigell (left), Boy A

* Shortlist
* Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Purple Hibiscus
* Rory Stewart, The Places in Between
* Neil Bennun, The Broken String
* Colin McAdam, Some Great Thing
* Anthony Cartwright, The Afterglow

Historic Winners List 1942- 2003

2003 - Charlotte Mendelson, Daughters of Jerusalem

2002 - Mary Laven, Virgins of Venice: Enclosed Lives and Broken Vows in the Renaissance Convent

* (note: The 2002 prize was initially awarded to Hari Kunzru for his book The Impressionist on 20 November 2003, but the author decided to decline the award due to its sponsorship by the Mail on Sunday)

2001 - Susanna Jones, The Earthquake Bird

2000 - Edward Platt (writer), Leadvill1990 - Ray Monk, Ludwig Wittgenstein: Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius

1999 - David Mitchell, Ghostwritten

1998 - Peter Ho Davies, The Ugliest House in the World

1997 - Phil Whitaker, Eclipse of the Sun

1996 - Nicola Barker (left), Heading Inland

1995 - Melanie McGrath, Motel Nirvana: Dreaming of the New Age in the American Desert

1994 - Jonathan Coe, What a Carve Up!

1993 - Jason Goodwin, On Foot to the Golden Horn: A Walk to Istanbul

1992 - Matthew Kneale, Sweet Thames

1991 - A. L. Kennedy, Night Geometry and the Garscadden Trains

1989 - Claire Harman, Sylvia Townsend Warner

1988 - Matthew Yorke, The March Fence

00997344191987 - Jeanette Winterson, The Passion

1986 - Tim Parks, Loving Roger

1985 - John Milne, Out of the Blue

1984 - Andrew Motion, Dangerous Play

1983 - Lisa St Aubin de Teran, The Slow Train to Milan

1982 - William Boyd, An Ice-Cream War

1981 - A. N. Wilson, The Laird of Abbotsford

1980 - Desmond Hogan, The Diamonds at the Bottom of the Sea

1979 - Peter Boardman, The Shining Mountain

1978 - A. N. Wilson, The Sweets of Pimlico

1977 - Richard Cork, Vorticism & Abstract Art in the First Machine Age

1976 - No Award

1975 - David Hare, Knuckle, and Tim Jeal, Cushing's Crusade

1974 - Hugh Fleetwood, The Girl Who Passed for Normal

1973 - Peter Smalley, A Warm Gun

1972 - Susan Hill, The Albatross

1971 - Shiva Naipaul, Fireflies

1970 - Angus Calder, The People's War

1969 - Melvyn Bragg, Without a City Wall

1968 - Angela Carter, The Magic Toyshop

1967 - Anthony Masters, The Seahorse

1966 - Margaret Drabble, The Millstone

1965 - Julian Mitchell, The White Father

1964 - Nell Dunn, Up the Junction 1963 - Peter Marshall, Two Lives

1962 - Robert Rhodes James, An Introduction to the House of Commons, and Edward Lucie-Smith, A Tropical Childhood and Other Poems

1961 - David Storey, Flight Into Camden

1960 - David Caute, At Fever Pitch

1958 - V. S. Naipaul, The Mystic Masseur

1959 - Dan Jacobson, A Long Way from London

1957 - Ruskin Bond, The Room on the Roof

1956 - John Hearne, Voices Under the Window

1955 - John Wiles, The Moon to Play With

1954 - Tom Stacey, The Hostile Sun

1953 - Rachel Trickett, The Return Home

1952 - No Award

1951 - Elizabeth Jane Howard, The Beautiful Visit

1950 - Kenneth Allsop, Adventure Lit Their Star

1949 - Emma Smith, Maiden's Trip

1948 - Richard Mason, The Wind Cannot Read

1947 - Anne-Marie Walters, Moondrop to Gascony

1946 - Oriel Malet, My Bird Sings

1945 - James Aldridge, The Sea Eagle

1944 - Alun Lewis, The Last Inspection

1943 - Morwenna Donelly, Beauty for Ashes

1942 - Michael Richey, Sunk by a Mine


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