Dan Davies has won the Gordon Burn Prize for In Plain Sight: The Life and Lies of Jimmy Savile (Quercus).
Davies was named as the winner at a special event at Durham Book Festival this evening (9th October). The prize was judged by Maxine Peake, Suzanne Moore, Doug Johnstone, Roddy Doyle and Gavin Turk.
In Plain Sight: The Life and Lies of Jimmy Savile consists of three interlocking timelines. "Savile’s kaleidoscopic and secretive life, itself an alternative history of post-war popular culture; Davies’ interviews, which lasted for days at a time, and the dynamics of the relationship that developed from them; and everything that we have learned since his death, including a forensic dissection of the numerous official inquiries the book seeks to understand who this man was, and how he made himself so conspicuous while remaining so elusive," prize organisers said.
Peake said: "Dan Davies’ book is forensically detailed, compelling and admirable objective in the extreme. This is so much more than a book about the monster that is Savile. It’s about grotesque social attitudes towards the famous and money. It also pinpoints the collective culpability we al share in allowing these people to offend and operate."
The Gordon Burn Trust added: "The shortlist was of extremely high quality, and each book was appreciated by the judges for its own particular excellence. In the end however one book stood out as a perfect fit for the prize, and as an outstanding achievement in any terms. The trust has been very excited by the sheer brilliance of the entries, and also at the breadth of subjects tackled. We look forward with enthusiasm to what may come next."
The prize was founded in 2012 to celebrate the legacy of the late "fearless and forensic writer" Gordon Burn and seeks to "illuminate the work of those writers whose work follows in his bold footsteps."