Ali Smith's "The Accidental" Wins Whitbread Award
Scottish novelist Ali Smith has won the 2005 Whitbread Novel Award with her novel "The Accidental", it was announced yesterday. The Whitbread is a world-class literary award that goes to the best first novel, novel, poetry, biography and children's book from an author living in the UK or Ireland. The Whitbread has always been a great source for interesting and consistently good books (unlike many of the American award-winners). Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime by Mark Haddon won the Novel award in 2003 and was one of my favorite books of the last few years. Vernon God Little by D.B.C. Pierre ( a controversial winner) was another outstanding read. While Ali Smith's book will leap to the top of my "to read" list, I haven't read any of her books yet. Ms. Smith will be taking home a check for Fifty Thousand pounds sterling.
Ironically, the Whitbread prize will be looking for a new sponsor because the giant brewer Whitbread has stopped funding the award last year. I'd like to suggest that the prize committe consider other great brew makers of the world as sponsors. How about the "Dos Equis Award"? Or the "Blatz Prize"? My favorite would be the "Old Peculiar Award"
The other winners include:
First Novel: "The Harmony Silk Factory" by Tash Aw
Biography: "Matisse the Master" by Hilary Spurling
Children's: "The New Policeman" by Kate Thompson
Poetry: "Cold Calls" by Christopher Logue