Amy Sackville, Associate Lecturer for A215 Creative Writing, has won the John Llewellyn Rhys prize for her first novel The Still Point.
Amy was identified by The Telegraph as one of the top new novellists for 2010, and was long listed for the Orange Prize for Fiction. The Still Point was BBC Radio 4’s ‘book at Bedtime’ in January 2010.
The Still Point outlines Arctic explorer Edward Mackely’s venture to the North Pole at the beginning of the twentieth century, where he disappears without trace, leaving a young wife, Emily, who awaits his return for decades, her dreams and devotion gradually freezing into rigid widowhood. A hundred years later, Edward’s great-grand-niece Julia moves through the old family house, making a discovery that splinters her long-held image of Edward and Emily’s romance, and prompting her husband Simon to face a precipitous choice that will decide the future of their relationship.
The John Llewellyn Rhys Prize was founded in honour of the writer John Llewellyn Rhys (killed in action in World War II), and is open to British and Commonwealth writers of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, aged 35 or under, at the time of publication. The prize is worth £5,000 to the winner, with the other shortlisted authors receiving £500 each. Past winners include William Boyd, Jeanette Winterson, Jonathan Coe, Nicola Barker and Charlotte Mendelson.
Claire Allfree, chair of judges said: ‘We are thrilled that Amy Sackville has won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize this year with her debut novel The Still Point. Her ambitious, beautifully constructed book encapsulates all the qualities of a young, emerging writer that the Prize seeks to celebrate: it has a huge imaginative scope, it tells its story in unexpected, subtle ways and her use of language took our breath away. She is a writer of seemingly limitless promise and, amid some tough competition, a thoroughly deserving winner.’
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