Khan and Murphy win at Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards

Khan and Murphy win at Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards

Taran Khan and Dervla Murphy  have won trophies at the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards in a virtual ceremony.

Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year was awarded to Khan for her debut Shadow City (Chatto & Windus). The book takes readers on a journey through the streets of Kabul as Khan walks around the city and uncovers a place quite different from the one she anticipated.

Julia Wheeler, chair of the Stanford Dolman judges, said: “We enjoyed the weaving of Khan’s personal and family story with her observations and clear affection for the city. That Khan’s journeys were made over several years allows the myriad faces of Kabul to emerge and her interactions with individuals create meaningful and memorable pictures for the reader.”

Murphy picked up the Edward Stanford Award for Outstanding Contribution to Travel Writing. Dubbed “the first lady of Irish cycling”, her first book, Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle (Eland), was published in 1965 and she has followed it up with more than 20 other titles.

John Murray, her friend and former publisher, commented: “Dervla delivered the typescript of her early travels arriving at 50 Albemarle Street on her long-suffering bicycle direct from India. From that moment she revealed herself as a truly original and fearless traveller. Nurtured by my father and edited by my mother, Dervla and in time her daughter Rachel became part of the Murray family. In some ways Stanford’s was a second home to her where she spent much time seeking out maps to the more obscure areas of the world in preparation for new exploits. She is without doubt a worthy recipient of the Edward Stanford Award for Outstanding Contribution to Travel Writing. Well done Dervla.”

Meanwhile “Hope in Pink Meringue” by Anita King received the Bradt Travel Guides New Travel Writer of the Year award. The short story centres around a young girl dancing in the doorway of an ice cream parlour in Damascus, sparking a personal memory. The judges described the piece as “a controlled competent piece of writing, all the more impressive considering the raw subject matter. Vivid descriptions and a solid structure make for a compelling, heart-breaking tale.”