Tessa Hadley wins Hawthornden Prize 2016

Tessa Hadley wins Hawthornden Prize 2016

Tessa Hadley has won the Hawthornden Prize 2016 for her novel The Past (Jonathan Cape).

The prize, which rewards works of “imaginative literature”, whether prose or poetry, was presented by award-winning novelist Alan Hollinghurst at a reception held on Tuesday (5th July) at the London Library.

The Past, which published as a Vintage paperback at the end of June, is about four siblings who go to their grandparents’ old house for three weeks over the summer - "but under the idyllic surface lie shattering tensions". It is Waterstones fiction "book of the month" for July. 

Hadley, who is a professor of creative writing at Bath Spa University, was awarded earlier this year the Windham–Campbell Literature Prize for fiction. She is the author of six novels and two collections of short stories, with her third collection, Bad Dreams and Other Stories, due to be published with Jonathan Cape in January 2017.

Founded in 1919 by Alice Warrender, the Hawthornden Prize prides itself as one of literature’s "oldest and most prestigious" awards. Unlike other literary awards, it doesn't solicit submissions. 

Previous winners of the Hawthornden Prize include Robert Graves, Graham Greene, Hilary Mantel and Colm Tóibín.