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Keeper wins Andrea Gillies an Orwell prize

20th May 2010

Andrea Gillies has won the Orwell Prize 2010's book category with Keeper.

The book, which follows the writer's experience of caring for her Alzheimer's suffering mother-in-law, was the unanimous choice of the judging panel and saw off competition from a six-strong shortlist which included An Elegy for Easterly by Petina Gappah and John Kampfner's Freedom For Sale.

English PEN director Jonathan Heawood, writer Francine Stock and Andrew Holgate, literary editor of The Sunday Times, said Keeper is a 'startlingly honest and vivid' work which goes beyond being just a memoir to examine issues such as identity and memory.

'[Gillies] argues powerfully for change in the way we deal with age and senility, a looming political issue for the 21st century,' the panel commented.

Christopher de Bellaigue's Rebel Land, From Fatwa to Jihad by Kenan Malik and Michela Wrong's It's Our Turn to Eat were the other titles shortlisted for the GBP 3,000 book prize.

Peter Hitchens was awarded the journalism prize for his foreign correspondence for the Mail on Sunday, while pseudonymous social worker Winston Smith scooped the blog accolade for Working with the Underclass.

Last year, Keeper won the first Wellcome Trust Book Prize, which seeks to recognise excellence in fiction and non-fiction based on health and medicine.

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