Prize-winning books perfect for Christmas

10 prize-winning books perfect for Christmas

You needn’t opt for book vouchers for the readers in your life this Christmas. Here’s a ready-made list of prize-winning books that will put a smile on any bookworm’s face.

Bookworms love receiving books for Christmas. Well, for pretty much any occasion really. But it can be difficult to choose novels they’ve not read or already got on their to-be-read pile.

Avoid the book voucher cop out by selecting from this range of prize-winning novels that hit the literary headlines in 2019.

Man Booker Prize

Winner: The Testaments by Margaret Atwood and Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

In probably this year’s most controversial decision, the Man Booker judges awarded the prestigious prize to two books.

Atwood’s The Testaments is the follow-up to her 80s classic The Handmaid’s Tale and continues her exploration of the destructive patriarchy of Gilead.

Girl, Woman, Other follows 12 characters over more than 100 years to explore Britishness, womanhood and identity.

Man Booker International Prize and Nobel Prize for Literature

Winner: Flights by Olga Tokarczuk

It’s difficult to describe or categorise this book by Polish author Tokarczuk. It’s highly innovative and original, and is packed with characters trying to find their place in the world. If the Man Booker International wasn’t a big enough accolade, this book bagged the Nobel Prize for Litersture so is definitely worth a read.

Wellcome Prize

Winner: Murmur by Will Eaves

Murmur is a fictionalisation of the life of Alan Turin, the man who broke the Enigma code during Word War II and was later subjected to chemical castration for homosexual activity. Eaves focuses on the period after the castration process began and up to Pryor’s (his recreation of Turin) death to explore love and sexual identity in a beautifully touching novel.

The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction

Winner: The Long Take by Robin Robertson

The Long Take follows Walker, a D-Day veteran who tries to find his place in post-war society. His post-traumatic stress means he can’t return home to Canada so he wanders America trying to find a city where he can forget his past. It’s poetic and steeped in all of the characteristics of classic noir.

Desmond Elliot Prize

Winner: Golden Child by Claire Adam

This prize celebrates the best writing from debut authors so is great way of finding new voices. Golden Child is a taut thriller about a missing child that explores the bonds of familial love and the lengths parents will go to to protect their children.

Women’s Prize for Fiction

Winner: An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

The titular couple of this novel are living the American Dream until the husband is imprisoned for 12 years early in their marriage. Through letters between the couple, the book explores the strains and bonds that forge their relationship in such trying circumstances. Gripping, intimate and voyeuristic at times, this powerful novel packs an emotional punch.

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