NOTE: This article is a republication- Source: Kirkus Reviews (by Michael Schaub).
Tom Crewe and Peter Apps have won this year’s Orwell Prizes, given annually to authors who “make political writing into an art.”
Crewe took home the Orwell Prize for political fiction for his debut novel, The New Life, which follows two men in Victorian England who fight to destigmatize and decriminalize homosexuality. In a starred review, a critic for Kirkus called the novel “a smart, sensual debut.”
Boyd Tonkin, chair of judges for the award, said, “With compassion, lucidity and poise he explores both the creation of new sexual identities and the nature of social activism, as the ideals of liberation tangle with shame, fear and doubt.”
Peter Apps won the award for political writing for Show Me the Bodies: How We Let Grenfell Happen, a nonfiction account of the 2017 high-rise building fire in London that killed 72 people.
The judging panel for the prize said, “Show Me the Bodies has the values of the Orwell Prize at its core: it is beautiful writing about a devastating subject that we should all understand.”
The Orwell Prizes were established in 1994 and are administered by the Orwell Foundation, created to honor George Orwell (1903-1950), the author of Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm. Past winners include Miranda Carter for Anthony Blunt: His Lives, Patrick Radden Keefe for Say Nothing, and Claire Keegan for Small Things Like These.