An in-depth and poignant portrayal of Cromer’s crab fishermen told in their own words is the overall winner at this year’s EDP-Jarrold East Anglian Book Awards.

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The Last Hunters was last night acclaimed as “an unexpectedly intimate view behind the often hard facades of these men of action” at a ceremony at Norwich’s Assembly House attended by more than 100 people from across East Anglia and further afield.

The judges hailed the book as a significant piece of research into a traditional Norfolk industry that will be referred to for years to come.

Author Candy Whittome, who lives in London and Cromer, said: “This is extraordinary. We bought a cottage in Cromer and saw the fishermen every day and I wanted to learn more about these people.

“It took a long time but I consider them lifelong friends now, and I see this is a book about people rather than a book about fishing.

“This award is for them rather than for me.”

Her book, published by the Suffolk-based Full Circle Editions, documents the stories of 29 people connected to the crab-fishing industry at a time when their business is threatened by decline.

The words, drawn from dozens of interviews, are complemented by memorable black-and-white portrait photographs by David Morris.

The awards celebrate the best new books with subject matter strongly connected to Norfolk, Suffolk and Fenland, and more than 100 people from East Anglia and beyond gathered at the Assembly House in Norwich to see the winners announced.

This year’s top prize brought its authors £250 in Jarrold vouchers and a bottle of champagne. The Last Hunters had earlier been named the winner of the Places and Nature category, judged by EDP nature columnist Mike Toms – for details of the other six category winners see the panel, left.

The awards’ host was ITN News’ arts and entertainment correspondent Nina Nannar and the guest speaker was best-selling novelist and poet Sophie Hannah.

Before presenting the trophies she discussed her latest psychological thriller Kind of Cruel, and read two poems inspired by Wells and King’s Lynn.

Eastern Daily Press editor Nigel Pickover told the audience: “The last few years have seen these awards grow significantly. Supporting good writing is something the EDP has done throughout our history, with writers such as Lilias Rider Haggard, Eric Fowler, Ted Ellis and Charles Roberts known for their authority and prose style.

“While the newspaper continues to publish great writers and columnists, helping to run these awards is another way that we can continue this tradition. ”

The awards were sponsored by Writers’ Centre Norwich, which led the successful recent bid for Norwich to become a Unesco City of Literature.

In a speech the organisation’s chief executive Chris Gribble said: “This is a region of huge depth, a place full of writers and readers. The books shortlisted tonight all give us a better understanding of the people we are and the place that we live in.”

For full details of all last night’s winning books see Saturday’s EDP.

2 comments

  • Congratulations Candy, very good book.

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    DocOhNo

    Friday, November 16, 2012

  • excellent publication ~ sensitively put together.A well deserved winner, congratulations Candy. How about a seQuel?

    Report this comment

    dan platton

    Sunday, November 18, 2012

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