Levy Wins Whitbread

Andrea Levy’s Small Island has just won the Whitbread Book of the Year, an award that pits Whitbread winners in all categories (fiction, non-fiction, children’s) against each other. The Guardian‘s John Ezard has a report.

[The win] marks a long hoped-for watershed in which, as she said in a recent Guardian article, “some of the bestselling books in this country have come from authors who would once have been seen as ‘minority interest’ and have now become publishing gold”.

When her win was announced late last night, she said, in a reference to the Tory politician Enoch Powell’s notorious “rivers of blood” speech in the late 1960s: “Most of all I would like to thank all those people in Britain who work hard to make sure the rivers in this country never run with blood, only with water.”

Levy also won the Orange Prize last year.