Winman wins Edinburgh Festival book prize

Sarah Winman’s debut When God Was a Rabbit (Headline Review) has won the 2011 Edinburgh International Book Festival’s Newton First Book Award.

The award encourages attendees of the festival to vote for their favourite of the 47 debut authors featured in this year’s programme.

When God Was a Rabbit received more than 10% of the vote, with Invitation by Shehryar Fazli (Tranquebar Press) and The Registrar's Manual for Detecting Forced Marriages (S&S) by Sophie Hardach sharing second place.

Nick Barley, director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, said: "The Newton First Book Award has been very successful in introducing the best in new writing from the UK and abroad to our Book Festival audience. I am thrilled that the prize has been met with such an enthusiastic response from readers."