Judging the David Cohen Prize



It has been one of the great joys of my life to judge the 2019 David Cohen Prize, a lifetime achievement award of £40,000 for a great body of literary work. After long and fascinating discussions we had to give the award to Edna O’Brien: there was just no contest. To come out with a book like Country Girls (about rural life in Ireland) sixty years ago and then publish a book like Girl (about Boko Haram) just this year… That alone is a huge achievement. And then there are the dozens of other works, including one of the most mesmerising memoirs I’ve every read, Country Girl. 


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