Redeployment – Warwick Prize for Writing winner

Monday, 7 December 2015

redeploymentI was one of the judges of the 2015 Warwick Prize for Writing from Warwick University in England. The books had to feature a one word theme: instinct. We ended up with a shortlist of six titles – one of which I could not stand, Karl Ove Knausgaard’s A Man in Love. Two had been Booker Prize contenders – Karen Joy Fowler’s wonderful We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves and Marilynne Robinson’s Lila.

The judges could, if they wished, nominate a book for the longlist and I brought in Mark Vanhoenacker’s wonderful (I thought!) Skyfaring, which made it through to the shortlist, although it didn’t win.

The ₤25,000 prize went to Phil Klay’s Redeployment – ‘An unprecedented book about the human cost of war by former marine captain and Iraq veteran, Phil Klay. Redeployment takes readers to the frontlines of the wars in Iraq, asking us to understand what happened there, and what happened to the soldiers who returned.’ Perhaps more to the point it underlines what a stupid mess the whole thing was from start to – still ongoing – finish.