Baileys Prize: Ali Smith wins for How to be Both
3 June 2015
From the section Entertainment & Arts
Ali Smith’s novel intertwines the stories of a 15th Century painter and a contemporary teenager
Ali Smith has won the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction for her time-shifting novel How to Be Both.
The judges hailed the Scottish writer’s work as “tender, brilliant and witty”.
Smith was presented with the £30,000 prize at a ceremony at London’s Royal Festival Hall on Wednesday night.
A novel of two halves, How to be Both’s dual narrative focuses on the lives of a grieving teenage girl in the present day and a 15th Century Renaissance artist.
The book is published in two versions – with the same cover – but with the two halves switched. It doesn’t matter in which order they are read.
“Ancient and modern meet and speak to each other in this tender, brilliant and witty novel of grief, love, sexuality and shape-shifting identity,” said chair of judges Shami Chakrabarti, head of civil rights group Liberty.
The other judges were Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, columnist and broadcaster Grace Dent, writer Helen Dunmore and Channel 4 News presenter Cathy Newman.
The idea for the novel took root when Smith saw a picture of a fresco in a 2013 edition of art magazine Frieze. “I took a mouthful of coffee and opened it at a full-page reproduction of a painting so beautiful that it did something to my breathing and I nearly choked,” she wrote in The Observer.
How to be Both has already made its mark on the literary scene, having won the 2014 Costa Novel Award and the 2014 Goldsmiths Prize. It was also shortlisted for the 2014 …read more
Source:: BBC Entertainment