Sarah Perry's The Essex Serpent (Serpent's Tail) has won the Spoon's Carpet Novel Award 2016 for the best novel to be read in a pub.
Perry's book, which was named Waterstones Book of the Year last month, was nominated by Di Stafford. The prize was created by author Kit Caless in conjunction with JD Weatherspoon and inspired by his recently released Spoon’s Carpets: An Appreciation (Square Peg).
Perry won £100 in pound coins to play in a fruit machine in the pub and "inestimable prestige". Stafford won a £100 Wetherspoons gift card, five books from Square Peg and a random selection of novels.
Caless said: “Sarah’s book was chosen for two reasons. One, it is a wonderful novel published this year and two, the nomination by Di Stafford included an incredible collage of carpet photos and Perry’s book cover, including a picture of Perry wearing a dress that resembled a Spoon’s Carpet design.”
Perry said: “I could not be more delighted that The Essex Serpent has been awarded the Spoon’s Carpet Novel Award! As a devoted fan of mingling the pleasures of reading and drinking, I'm thrilled to imagine readers of the novel passing a pleasant evening in the company of the book and a festive drink.”
Stafford added: “I’m thrilled to have won the nomination and really pleased for Sarah Perry, who I think is a fantastic author. I’ll be taking my book group off to the pub to celebrate, where we’ll enjoy rummaging through the prize book haul of Square Peg books and other novels.”
Perry beat off competition from the following shortlisted books: Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth (Canongate), nominated by Dan Coxon; Two Years Eight Months And Twenty Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie (Vintage), nominated by Juhi Pande; Not Working by Lisa Owens (Picador), nominated by Mumbi Thuo; The Return of John MacNab by Andrew Greig (river run), nominated by Findlay Hickey; My Biggest Lie by Luke Brown (Canongate), nominated by C.D. Rose; Frankie and Stankie by Barbara Trapido (Bloomsbury), nominated by ‘Jan 76’; How to Be a Public Author by Francis Plug/Paul Ewen (Galley Beggar), nominated by Sam Jordison and Holy Orders by Benjamin Black aka John Banville (Picador), nominated by Heather Moers.