2022 winner: Diego Garcia by Natasha Soobramanien and Luke Williams
Tim Parnell (Chair of Judges):
“By turns, funny, moving, and angry, Diego Garcia is as compelling to read as it is intricately wrought. For Natasha Soobramanien and Luke Williams collaboration is both method and politics.
"Against the dogmatism of the single-voiced fiction that informed the British government’s expulsion of the Chagossian people from their homeland, they respond not only with rigorous critique, but also with an understanding of the relationship between voice and power which shapes the very form of Diego Garcia. A marvellous book which extends the scope of the novel form.”
Ali Smith (Judge):
“An extraordinary achievement, this single novel composed by two writers is both a paean to connectivity and a profound study of the tragedy of human disconnect. At its core is an excoriation of a set of specific colonial foulnesses and injustices: the forced depopulation of the Chagos Islands and their expedient use by the UK and the US as a military base and bargaining chip.
"At its heart is an experiment with form that asks what fiction is, what art is for, and how, against the odds, to make visible, questionable and communal the structures, personal and political, of contemporary society, philosophy, lived history."