Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being (Canongate) won the Kitschies Red Tentacle novel award last night (12th February) at a ceremony at the Seven Dials Club in London.
Meanwhile, Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman’s work was recognised by the judges with the discretionary Black Tentacle award for a piece of work that doesn’t otherwise fit the Kitschies criteria.
Now in their fifth year, the Kitschies recognize the year’s most "progressive, intelligent and entertaining" works that contain elements of the speculative or fantastic. The 2013 finalists were selected from a record 234 submissions from over 50 publishers and imprints.
Ozeki saw off competition from Anne Carson, Thomas Pynchon, Patrick Ness and James Smyth for the award. Her winning book was selected by a panel made up by fellow authors Kate Griffin, Nick Harkaway and Will Hill, TED fellow Anab Jain and whitefox founder Annabel Wright.
A Tale for the Time Being was simultaneously released across hardback, paperback, digital and audio formats in March 2013 and has since received an Independent Booksellers Week Award and a Man Booker Prize shortlisting. To celebrate the win, Canongate has made the paperback version of the novel available for £4.50 until the end of February.
Unable to make the ceremony in person, Ozeki sent a message saying: “This is truly a fantastical honour, and one that surpasses my wildest imaginings. I have always wanted a tentacle of my very own, and now I have one! … The novels nominated for this award form a spectacular array, and I was as excited to see mine amongst them, as I am humbled now by this improbable but happy outcome.”
Other winners from last night were Anne Leckie, who picked up the Golden Tentacle debut award for her book Ancillary Justice and Adam Christopher and Will Staehle, whose cover art for The Age Atomic won the Inky Tentacle cover art award. The winners received a total of £2,000 in prize money as well as their iconic Tentacle trophies, while all finalists received bottles of The Kraken Rum.