Christina Dalcher has won the £2,000 Goldsboro Glass Bell Award with her dystopian debut novel VOX (HQ).
Dalcher triumphed with her thought-provoking and suspenseful dystopian thriller VOX, which imagines a near future in which an evangelical sect has taken control of the US and women have been limited to speaking just a hundred words a day.
VOX - which has sold 75,381 copies through Nielsen - beat competition from a shortlist featuring Belinda Bauer’s 2018 Booker-longlisted Snap (Transworld) and Dalcher’s fellow debut novelists Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott for Swan Song (Cornerstone) and The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris (Bonnier Zaffree). M W Craven's The Puppet Show (Little, Brown) and British Book award-winning Our House by Louise Candlish (Simon & Schuster) were also nominated.
Dalcher was awarded the Glass Bell at a party held at Goldsboro Books in central London last night (16th September), receiving £2,000 and a handmade, engraved glass bell. The prize was judged by Goldsboro Books founder and m.d. David Headley (pictured with Dalcher) and his team at the bookshop.
Headley said: "Hard-won rights sometimes feel like a luxury that we can never take for granted, and VOX is an urgent and timely reminder of this. A terrifyingly plausible yet dazzling thriller which prompted passionate discussions during the judging, it’s a story about the importance of communication, the power of language and a lesson that freedom is continually being fought for around the world. I set up the Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award to celebrate stories like this – which challenge us, frighten us and stimulate us."
Dalcher added: "Any author will tell you there are countless highlights in a writing career, but having my book, VOX, chosen as the winner of the Glass Bell Award was the Mount Everest of highlights. Goldsboro Books is so much more than a bookshop, and their love of reading across all genres makes David Headley and his team particularly special. I was lucky to be in London for the event, and even luckier to meet and chat with the other shortlisted novelists, all of whom, in my opinion, are deserving winners (plus, I got a gorgeous hand-blown glass bell as a trophy). Many thanks my stellar publishing team at HQ Stories, especially senior commissioning editor Charlotte Mursell and publicist Lily Capewell for turning a writer’s dream into a reality. And endless gratitude to David and Goldsboro Books!"
Founded in 2017, the Glass Bell Award is given annually to a compelling novel with brilliant characterisation and a distinct voice that is confidently written and assuredly realised. Now in its third year, the Glass Bell is the only award to reward storytelling in all genres, from romance and crime to historical and speculative.
Last year, the award went to John Boyne for The Heart’s Invisible Furies (Transworld).