The winner of the Green Carnation 2011 is The Proof of Love by Catherine Hall. I’ve enjoyed watching the process–and the longlist and shortlist are good places to find gifts for your quiltbag lit loving friends.
Full press release below:
Catherine Hall has won the 2011 Green Carnation Prize with her second novel, The Proof of Love. Set during the long hot summer of 1976, it is a deeply evocative and moving tale of a young Cambridge mathematician who arrives in a remote village in the Lake District and takes on a job as a farm labourer. Just as he is slowly winning the trust of the suspicious local community, tragedy strikes.
Chair of the judges Simon Savidge said “I am thrilled, along with all the other judges, that Catherine Hall has won this year’s Green Carnation prize with her extraordinary second novel The Proof of Love. This is one of those rare novels in which you get so lost you forget that it is fiction. The characters walk off the page and you can feel the atmosphere simmering and brooding in every sentence. It’s a book that quietly takes you by the hand, leading you gently into a false sense of security before gripping you and it doesn’t let go until the very last moment. It is the sort of novel that storytelling and reading are all about, wonderfully written and a book you want to pass on and recommend to everyone you know.”
Winner Catherine Hall said “I’m utterly delighted to have won the Green Carnation Prize – a completely unexpected pleasure, especially given the calibre of the other writers on the shortlist. It’s a great way of raising the profile of LGBT writing, which I think can only be a good thing.”
About The Prize
The Green Carnation Prize got off to a great start in 2010 as an award that celebrated the best fiction and memoirs by gay men. It provoked debate, produced an intriguing shortlist and chose a worthy winner in Christopher Fowler’s Paperboy.
In 2011 the prize came back even bigger and better. As Britain’s most prestigious literary prize for modern gay writing, it opened its doors to all LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) writers. It aims to engage the wider LGBT community, as well as all readers outside of it, in its search for great modern writing.
Details of the winning author and novel:
CATHERINE HALL was born in the Lake District in 1973 and brought up in an extended family on a remote hill farm. After reading English at Cambridge University she moved to London in 1995, working in documentary film production and then for an international peacebuilding organisation before becoming a freelance writer and editor for human rights and development charities. Her first novel was Days of Grace (Portobello, 2008)
THE PROOF OF LOVE: During the long, hot summer of 1976, a young Cambridge mathematician arrives in a remote village in the Lake District and takes on a job as a farm labourer. Painfully awkward and shy, Spencer Little is viewed with suspicion by the community and his only real friendship is with scruffy, clever ten-year-old Alice. When he saves Alice from a mountain fire, he begins at last to feel accepted, but as he is drawn deeper into the lives of others, he also becomes aware of their secrets – and of the difficulty in keeping his own. As the heatwave intensifies and a web of complicity tightens around him, Spencer realises that he will be forced to choose: between passion and logic, between loyalty and truth…”
The six shortlisted books for the Green Carnation Prize 2011 were:
- The Strange Case of the Composer and his Judge – Patricia Duncker (Bloomsbury)
- The Proof of Love – Catherine Hall (Portobello)
- Red Dust Road – Jackie Kay (Picador)
- Rembrance of Things I Forgot – Bob Smith (Terrace Books)
- Ever Fallen in Love – Zoe Strachan (Sandstone Press)
- The Empty Family – Colm Toibin (Penguin Books)
The judges for the 2011 prize were:
- Nick Campbell, blogger and book addict
- Stella Duffy, author, broadcaster and director
- Paul Magrs, author
- Michelle Pauli, deputy editor of guardian.co.uk/books
- Simon Savidge (Chair of Judges), blogger, journalist, podcast presenter and literary salon host