Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead wins Orwell Prize for Political Fiction 2020.

Colson Whitehead’s The Nickel Boys was announced the winner of the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction 2020 earlier today, July 9, 2020.

The Orwell Prizes, named in honour of English novelist, essayist, journalist, and critic George Orwell, are the UK’s most prestigious prizes for political writing. The Orwell Foundation annually awards prizes for work which comes closest to George Orwell’s ambition ‘to make political writing into an art’. Starting in 1994, winners of the Orwell Prize were recognised in the categories of political writing and journalism.

In 2018, The Orwell Prize for Political Fiction was launched and awarded in June 2019. Novuyo Rosa Tshuma and Diana Evans made the shortlist.

The judges for 2020 Jude Kelly (Chair), Tom Gatti, Sarah Shaffi, and Matthew Sperling announced the longlist for the prize on May 21 before revealing the shortlist on June 25.

The winners of the prizes have been announced today and the political fiction category goes to Colson Whitehead’s The Nickel Boys. It was chosen for its “convincing character portrayal and unsparing depiction of corruption and racial brutality.”

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