A University of Strathclyde academic has won a prestigious international literary award.
Zoë Wicomb, Emeritus Professor of Creative Writing in the School of Humanities, has received £99,000 as part of the inaugural Donald Windham-Sandy M Campbell Prizes at Yale University.
Prof Wicomb said: "For a minor writer like myself, this is a validation I would never have dreamt of. I am overwhelmed – and deeply grateful for this generous prize. It will keep me for several years – and it will speed up the writing too, since I can now afford to go away when the first draft proves difficult to produce in my own house.”
The Windham-Campbell literature awards were set up to recognise emerging and established writers for outstanding achievement in fiction, non-fiction and drama. Nearly £900,000 was awarded to nine prize winners, making this one of the largest literary prizes in the world.
It was Windham's wish that the prizes should recognise writers of all stages of their careers, including younger authors, as well as those with bodies of work deserving of a wider audience.
Professor Wicomb, author of the ground-breaking Apartheid-era story collection "You Can't Get Lost in Cape Town" – and whose work is published primarily by small presses – was identified by competition judges as an example of the latter.
The judges said: “Zoë Wicomb's subtle, lively language and beautifully crafted narratives explore the complex entanglements of home, and the continuing challenges of being in the world.”
Prof Wicomb is a South African writer and Strathclyde alumnus who now lives in Glasgow. Her critical work focuses on postcolonial theory and South African writing and culture. Her published works of fiction are "You Can't Get Lost in cape Town", "David's Story", "Playing in the Light", and "The One That Got Away", while she has also just completed a new novel.
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