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Faber launches Gordon Burn Memorial Prize

20th April 2012 - 12:14 Noon

Faber has launched a literary prize in memory of former Whitbread Award winner Gordon Burn that will recognise authors who challenge the notions of their respective genres.

Burn was acclaimed for his leftfield approach to writing and his debut work - 1991's Alma Cogan, which imagines that the titular 1950s and 60s pop singer had not died of cancer - scooped the best first novel prize at the Whitbread Awards.

According to Faber, the new prize will reward fiction or non-fiction works that most successfully represent the 'spirit and sensibility' of Burn's literary methods and make the reader think twice about the book.

The award will carry a prize of GBP 5,000 and be open to works produced in English by writers of any nationality or descent who reside permanently in either the UK or US.

The inaugural prize will be presented next year, with the judging panel comprising novelist David Peace, journalist Deborah Orr and broadcaster Mark Lawson. Works published between January 1st and December 31st 2012 will be eligible for entry.

Faber publishing director Lee Brackstone commented: 'As each year passes the world of literature misses Gordon's genius more and more, but the relevance of his books and his unique sensibility only gathers momentum.

'A prize in Gordon's name, and with respect to his radical perspective and style will, I hope, continue to draw attention to this.'

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