Naomi Klein wins Warwick Prize for Writing

March 2, 2009 at 1:14 pm | Posted in Book Awards, Books | Leave a comment

On Tuesday 24 February, 2009 Naomi Klein was announced as the winner of the first £50, 000 Warwick Prize for Writing.

The unique new prize, run and self-funded by the University of Warwick, stands out as an international cross-disciplinary biennial award open to any genre or form of writing.

Canadian journalist Klein’s winning book The Shock Doctrine (Penguin) was chosen from a diverse shortlist of six international titles. This year’s prize theme of ‘Complexity’ was interpreted differently by each writer, all experts in their genres, and ranged from music criticism and scientific theory to Spanish fiction.

Naomi Klein said “At a time when the news out of the publishing industry is usually so bleak it’s thrilling to be part of a bold new prize supporting writing, especially alongside such an exciting array of other books.”

Chair judge China Miéville, award-winning author of fantasy fiction, announced the winner at a ceremony at the University of Warwick. Miéville said:

”Every book on the shortlist was exceptional, but of course it had, ultimately, to come down to one. Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine is a brilliant, provocative, outstandingly written investigation into some of the great outrages of our time. It has started many debates, and will start many more, and we’re delighted to award it the first Warwick Prize for Writing.”

Klein’s The Shock Doctrine is based on breakthrough historical research and four years of on-the-ground reporting. Using detailed case studies from around the world, Klein charts the rise of disaster capitalism where moments of collective crisis – 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina for example – are exploited by global corporations to usher in radical social and economic change.

David Morley, Director of the Warwick Prize for Writing, comments: “Prizes are important. They offer a beckoning point to a writer. They set the tone of a writer’s progress in the world. The best books defy categorisation. I am therefore delighted that Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine has won the inaugural Warwick Prize for Writing. It is important to recognise her achievement with a prize of international calibre.”

The University of Warwick’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nigel Thrift, said: “I am delighted, that in its very first year, the Warwick Prize for Writing has attracted such an international spread of nominated and short listed publications. This reflects the University of Warwick’s own global outlook and the international diversity of its staff and students. I offer my congratulations to Naomi Klein and hope that she will be able to spend a short time with us as one of the many leading international researchers and writers who elect to spend a period at Warwick as a visiting fellow.”

Joining Miéville on this year’s judging panel was journalist Maya Jaggi; novelist, translator and academic Maureen Freely; Britain’s first book blogger Stephen Mitchelmore and University of Warwick mathematician Professor Ian Stewart.

The theme of ‘Colour’ was also announced last night for the 2011 Warwick Prize for Writing. To find out more visit

Source: Colman Getty Release

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