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Edmund de Waal wins Ondaatje Prize

25th May 2011

Edmund de Waal has been named winner of the GBP 10,000 Ondaatje Prize for his family biography The Hare with Amber Eyes.

De Waal saw off competition from Damon Galgut's In a Strange Room and Anjali Joseph's Saraswati Park to win the prize, which is presented annually by the Royal Society of Literature.

Francis Spufford's Red Plenty, The Butterfly Isles by Patrick Barkham and Landed by Tim Pears were the other titles shortlisted for the award, which recognises works of fiction and non-fiction that evoke the spirit of a place.

The judging panel, comprising authors Sarah Waters and Ali Smith and poet Don Paterson, described the book as 'a very worthy winner of this important literary prize - a stunning piece of writing, conjuring up one memorable location after another with economy and grace'.

Last year, the Ondaatje Prize was won by Ian Thomson for The Dead Yard: Tales of Modern Jamaica, described by the judges as a 'vigorous, illuminating and sometimes shocking' work exploring the underbelly of Jamaica.

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