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Tags: Britain | Women's Prize

Ruth Ozeki's 'Book of Form and Emptiness' Wins Women's Prize

Wednesday, 15 June 2022 03:01 PM EDT

LONDON (AP) — American-Canadian writer Ruth Ozeki won the prestigious Women’s Prize for Fiction on Wednesday for “The Book of Form and Emptiness.”

Ozeki was awarded the 30,000 pound ($36,000) prize at a ceremony in London for her playful, philosophical novel about a bereaved boy’s relationship with books and the objects in his house — all of which speak to him. His world becomes increasingly cacophonous as his widowed mother deals with her grief by hoarding.

Inspired in part by Buddhist philosophy and by the decluttering doyenne Marie Kondo, the novel explores the complex relationship between people and their possessions.

British journalist Mary Ann Sieghart, who chaired the judging panel, said Ozeki’s novel “stood out for its sparkling writing, warmth, intelligence, humor and poignancy.”

“A celebration of the power of books and reading, it tackles big issues of life and death, and is a complete joy to read,” she said.

Ozeki, who is also a filmmaker and Zen Buddhist priest, is the author of three previous novels, including the environmentally themed “My Year of Meats” and “All Over Creation.” She was a Booker Prize finalist in 2013 for “A Tale for the Time Being,” a Pacific-spanning story set after Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

She also stared at her face in a mirror for three hours for the nonfiction book “Timecode of a Face.”

Bookmakers had ranked Ozeki’s novel a longshot to win, behind New Zealand author Meg Mason’s “Sorrow and Bliss,” Turkish-British author Elif Shafak’s “The Island of Missing Trees” and American writer Maggie Shipstead’s “Great Circle.” This year’s other finalists were U.S. writer Louise Erdrich’s “The Sentence” and Trinidadian author Lisa Allen-Agostini’s “The Bread the Devil Knead.”

The Women’s Prize, founded in 1996, is open to female English-language writers from around the world. Previous winners include Zadie Smith, Tayari Jones and Maggie O’Farrell. Last year’s winner was Susanna Clarke for her literary fantasy “Piranesi.”

© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


GlobalTalk
American-Canadian writer Ruth Ozeki won the prestigious Women's Prize for Fiction on Wednesday for "The Book of Form and Emptiness."Ozeki was awarded the 30,000 pound ($36,000) prize at a ceremony in London for her playful, philosophical novel about a bereaved boy's...
Britain,Women's Prize
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2022-01-15
Wednesday, 15 June 2022 03:01 PM
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