Winterson memoir bags indie booksellers prize

Winterson memoir bags indie booksellers prize

Members of the public have voted Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson (Vintage) as the winner of the Independent Booksellers’ Book Prize 2012.

The children’s winner meanwhile was One Dog and His Boy (Marion Lloyd Books) by the late Eva Ibbotson.

Members of the public chose Winterson’s book from a shortlist of 10 while Ibbotson’s title won from a shortlist of 12. The shortlists were selected from titles put forward by publishers and selected by a panel of judges.

Meryl Halls, head of membership services at the Booksellers Association, said: “We are delighted with the range and quality of titles entered for the 2012 prize. This year’s winners, having competed against fantastic books in their respective categories, are outstanding favourites in UK bookshops.”

Winterson, described winning the award as an “honour” and said she was "delighted" by the news. She said: “This award is particularly important to me because independent bookshops are the life of the book business and those men and women who own and run them have read everything. They love books."

Marion Lloyd, Eva Ibbotson’s editor and publisher, added: “Eva Ibbotson, whose children’s books won many distinguished literary prizes over the course of her long writing life, would have been especially delighted to win one sponsored by independent bookshops. Her own beautifully-crafted stories helped to turn many children into lifelong readers, and she greatly valued the expert role played by knowledgeable booksellers in matching the right book to the individual child.” Ibbotson died in 2010 at the age of 85.

Last year The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal won the Independent Booksellers Book Prize for the adult category, and Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl and the Atlantis Complex won in the children’s category.