The Jhalak Prize for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Writers (BAME) was only set up last year, to challenge the lack of diversity in literature, and the first winner is announced as Jacob Ross for his crime novel The Bone Readers.
The prize was founded last year to improve the poor representation of black, Asian and minority ethnic writers and was funded by an anonymous donor. Now the first year is complete, it’s announced that the prize will run again next year.
Upon announcement of the award, just 51 books were submitted for entry, despite it being open to all genres and even self published writers. This, organisers say just shows up the lack of diversity in literature. After a second appeal, 121 books were finally submitted and The Bone Readers is the overall winner.
The Bone Readers follows the story of Digger, a plainclothes police officer working in a rogue police force on the Caribbean island of Camaho who has a special talent of being able to read bones under LED lights. The novel is the first of a quartet following the character and has been received well.
Ross is the author of two short story collections, The Bone Readers and the 2009 acclaimed novel Pynter Bender.
The Man Booker Prize was first established in 1969 and, to celebrate its upcoming 50th anniversary, a one-off award is set to be given to the writer of the best work of fiction from the last five decades. The candidates have been chosen by five judges, but the final say will be given to the public who can vote for the writer they deem most deserving. Read More
The prize will honour one work of fiction, or nonfiction that has been translated into English in the US, and begins at the 69th National Book Awards this November. Read More