Louise Hare’s This Lovely City (HQ) is on the shortlist for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize 2021 announced today, April 27, 2021.
The Royal Society of Literature’s Ondaatje Prize is an annual award of £10,000 for a distinguished work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry, best evoking the spirit of a place. The prize is sponsored by Sir Christopher Ondaatje and has been running for the last fifteen years. Previous winners have been Aida Edemariam (2019), Pascale Petit (2018), Francis Spufford (2017), Peter Pomerantsev (2016), and Justin Marozzi (2015). Africans who have been in the running, but never won the award, include Aminatta Forna, Emmanuel Iduma, and Jamal Mahjoub as well as Jumoke Verissimo.
This year’s judges Lola, Baroness Young of Hornsey (Chair), Helen Mort and Adam Rutherford announced the longlist on April 15. The shortlist announced today has This Lovely City written by Louise Hare still in the running.
An atmospheric and utterly compelling debut novel about a Jamaican immigrant living in postwar London, This Lovely City shows that new arrivals have always been the prime suspects ― but that even in the face of anger and fear, there is always hope.
Louise Hare said of the shortlist; “It’s a huge understatement to say that I’m absolutely over the moon about this!
The winner of the award will be announced on Tuesday May 11, 2021.