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Susanna Clarke's 'Piranesi' wins Women's Prize for Fiction

Susanna Clarkes Piranesi wins Womens Prize for Fiction
camera_altPhoto: Bloomsbury

British writer Susanna Clarke won the prestigious Women's Prize for Fiction on Wednesday for her mind-tweaking fantasy novel "Piranesi" — a book that chronic illness made her fear she would never get to write.

The announcement was made at an in-person awards ceremony in Bedford Square Gardens, central London, today (8th September), hosted by novelist and prize founder director Kate Mosse.

The 2021 chair of judges, Bernardine Evaristo, presented the author with the £30,000 prize, endowed by an anonymous donor, and the "Bessie", a limited edition bronze figurine by Grizel Niven. The 2020 prize winner Maggie O'Farrell was also presented with a masked version of the trophy.

Set in a magical alternate reality, "Piranesi" is narrated by a man living in a labyrinthine, statue-filled house -- alone except for a visitor known as the Other - that comprises his whole universe. As he explores his domain, the character's understanding of his world gradually shifts - and so does the reader's.

This year's other finalists were American author Brit Bennett's "The Vanishing Half," U.S. writer Patricia Lockwood's "No One is Talking About This," "Transcendent Kingdom," by Ghanaian-American writer Yaa Gyasi, Barbadian writer Cherie Jones' "How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House" and U.K. author Claire Fuller's "Unsettled Ground."

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