Home 5 News 5 British Book Awards: Candice Carty-Williams becomes first black British author to win Book of the Year prize

British Book Awards: Candice Carty-Williams becomes first black British author to win Book of the Year prize

by | Jun 30, 2020 | News

Candice Carty-Williams has become the first black British female author to win Book of the Year, for her debut novel Queenie.

The British Book Awards recognised a breakthrough year for black British authors with wins for Carty-Williams, Bernardine Evaristo and Oyinkan Braithwaite, announced at a virtual ceremony.

Queenie, the critically-acclaimed debut novel by Carty-Williams, won the overall Book of the Year accolade, beating authors including Margaret Atwood.

The story of a twenty-five-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither, Queenie has become a bestseller.

Carty-Williams, who is adapting the novel for a Channel 4 series, said: “This win makes me hopeful that although I’m the first [black female author to win the overall award], the industry are waking up to the fact that I shouldn’t and won’t be the last.”

Carty-Williams wrote the novel after seven years working in publishing, an industry she found “stilted and archaic.”

Evaristo top author

Evaristo won Author of the Year, with her Booker Prize-winning novel, Girl, Woman, Other, told mostly from the perspective of 12 black women, taking Fiction Book of the Year.

The British-Nigerian author Braithwaite’s My Sister, the Serial Killer won Crime & Thriller Book of the Year.

Books by black British authors have shot up the bestseller lists following the Black Lives Matter protests.

Book of the Year Judge Stig Abell, Editor of the TLS, said of Queenie: “This a novel of our time, filled with wit, wisdom and urgency; and unafraid to tackle life as it is being experienced by a young, single black woman in the city.”

He added: “This shouldn’t be filed away as simply a funny debut by a brilliant writer (though it is that); this is an important meditation on friendship, love and race.”

Marketing triumph

Queenie has previously been shortlisted for Waterstones Book of the Year, Foyles Book of the Year and won Blackwell’s Début Novel of the Year.

Alice O’Keeffe, books editor of The Bookseller, said Trapeze, publishers of Queenie, had played an important role in the novel’s breakthrough.

“Trapeze’s publishing strategy was a masterclass in how to launch an author; from the now iconic jacket in multiple-colourways to the unmissable marketing and publicity campaigns that got everyone talking, and propelled Queenie into the bestseller lists.”

Source: inews

Recent News

25Jun
Record Attendance at Beijing’s Revamped Book Fair

Record Attendance at Beijing’s Revamped Book Fair

 Beijing International Book Fair (BIBF) wrapped up on 23 June with organisers reporting more visitors and more international countries represented since before the pandemic. The fair’s new venue was warmly welcomed with organisers concluding:  “BIBF is forging ahead with hope and embracing the changes.”    This vear saw 1,600 exhibitors of which 1,050 were international […]

25Jun
Manilla Press Acquires Kenji Ueda’s Latest Novel

Manilla Press Acquires Kenji Ueda’s Latest Novel

A new race is on among publishers see who can find the next Japanese/Korean ‘quiet lit’ sensation.  The latest acquisition is by the UK’s Bonnier Books Manilla Press which has pre-empted Letters from the Ginza Shihodo Stationery Shop by Kenji Ueda, translated by Emily Balistrieri.   The publisher says the novel, set in the Ginza […]

24Jun
Boris Johnson to “Unleash” Political Tell-All Amidst Election Turmoil

Boris Johnson to “Unleash” Political Tell-All Amidst Election Turmoil

HarperCollins wins former PM’s memoirs With the Conservatives trailing in the polls in the UK, HarperCollins has announced it is to publish the memoirs of former Prime Minister Boris Johnson.  Unleashed will be published in the UK by William Collins on 10 October and in the US by Harper on 15 October.   The Conservatives […]

Related Posts

Manilla Press Acquires Kenji Ueda’s Latest Novel

Manilla Press Acquires Kenji Ueda’s Latest Novel

A new race is on among publishers see who can find the next Japanese/Korean ‘quiet lit’ sensation.  The latest acquisition is by the UK’s Bonnier Books Manilla Press which has pre-empted Letters from the Ginza Shihodo Stationery Shop by Kenji Ueda, translated by Emily...

Harry Potter Rarity Auctioned for Over $57,000

Harry Potter Rarity Auctioned for Over $57,000

A rare edition of J.K. Rowling’s cherished novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, has fetched $57,200 at an auction in Edinburgh, Scotland. This copy is among the first 500 printed in 1997, distinguished by a misspelling of "Philosopher's" and a duplicate...

Previous Next
Close
Test Caption
Test Description goes like this

Pin It on Pinterest