Candice Carty Williams is the first Black author to be awarded top prize at the British Book Awards.
The author’s debut novel Queenie has been named as Book of the Year at the British Book Awards 2020.
Queenie is a darkly funny début novel that follows the titular character Queenie Jenkins, a 25-year-old black journalist living in South London, who can’t seem to cut a break. The novel received praise for its contemporary representation and tackling of issues including; mental health, race, class and consent. Last year we announced that the Sunday Times bestseller is heading to our small screens.
Carty-Williams’ debut novel was released in April 2019 to high acclaim and nominated for many awards. The novel won Blackwell’s Book of the Year in 2019, was a runner-up for the Costa First Novel Award, and the author also been short listed for this year’s Comedy Women in Print Prize.
On winning the award, Carty-Williams said: “I don’t quite know how I feel about winning book of the year; I’m proud of myself, yes, and grateful to the incredible team that helped me get Queenie out of my head and onto the shelves. I’m also sad and confused that I’m the first black and female author to have won this award since it began. Overall, this win makes me hopeful that although I’m the first, the industry is waking up to the fact that I shouldn’t and won’t be the last.”