Patrick McGuinness wins Wales Book of the Year Award
16th July 2012
Poet Patrick McGuinness has won the Wales Book of the Year Award for his acclaimed debut novel The Last Hundred Days.
The title reached the longlist for the 2011 Man Booker Prize and the shortlist for the Costa First Novel Award, without success, but was able to beat off stiff competition from works by two other writers to finally scoop a literary prize.
After securing GBP 2,000 for triumphing in the best novel in the English language category, McGuinness' work then contested the overall GBP 6,000 prize against Richard Gwyn's The Vagabond’s Breakfast, which had won the creative non-fiction award, and former national poet Gwyneth Lewis' Sparrow Tree, which picked up the poetry award.
Spencer Jordan, chair of the judging panel, praised the winner for drawing attention to the realities of danger, repression and corruption in 1980s Bucharest.
'In a world turned upside down by the Arab Spring and economic cataclysm, can there be a more apposite or important book than The Last Hundred Days?
'I doubt it. Set against the backdrop of Ceaucescu's crumbling regime, the book explores the very human cost when society itself begins to self destruct,' Jordan added.
McGuinness follows in the footsteps of John Harrison, who won the 2011 Wales Book of the Year Award for Cloud Road.