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Winner of the tenth East Anglian Book Awards revealed

PUBLISHED: 16:36 24 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:52 24 November 2017

East Anglian Book Awards 2017 .  Book of the Year winner John Christie for his book 'Lapwing and Fox' by John Berger and John Christie.
 Picture: Nick Butcher

East Anglian Book Awards 2017 . Book of the Year winner John Christie for his book 'Lapwing and Fox' by John Berger and John Christie. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2017

The winner of the tenth East Anglian Book Awards has been announced.

Award winners at the East Anglian Book Awards 2017. 
Picture: Nick ButcherAward winners at the East Anglian Book Awards 2017. Picture: Nick Butcher

A celebration of the power of art and friendship has been unveiled as the winner of the tenth East Anglian Book Awards.

Lapwing & Fox, based round a series of letters between critic and writer John Berger and his friend, the artist John Christie, won the overall East Anglian Book of the Year Award at the EABA Literary Lunch held today.

Produced by Framlingham-based imprint Objectif Press, the book features the friends’ reflections on life, nature and art – and especially the collections of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich.

The book was produced to mark John Berger’s 90th birthday last November. Poignantly, he died in January this year. Awarding the £1000 overall prize donated by the PACCAR Foundation, the judges commented: “We were impressed by the combination of fine writing and production values in this handsome book from a local publisher and with a strong local flavour.

Crime writer Elly Griffiths, one of the guest speakers. 
Picture: Nick ButcherCrime writer Elly Griffiths, one of the guest speakers. Picture: Nick Butcher

“The conversations via letter between John Berger and John Christie throw new light on a much-loved art collection and its approachable style will whet readers’ appetite to experience this art for themselves.”

Earlier, an audience of almost 200 at the Top of the Terrace, Norwich City Football Club, had heard talks from best-selling authors Elly Griffiths, Sarah Perry, Rory Clements and Raffaella Barker.

The overall winner was chosen from the six category winners, which were themselves drawn from an overall shortlist of 18 titles. The other category winners were: Fiction (judge: Sarah Perry) – Madame Zero, by Sarah Hall (Faber); Biography & Memoir (judge: D J Taylor) – The Owl at the Window, by Carl Gorham (Coronet); History & Tradition (judge: Chris Rushby) – Holkham, by Christine Hiskey (Unicorn Press);

Poetry (judge: Jeremy Noel-Tod) – Was and Is, by Neil Powell (Carcanet); and the

East Anglian Book Awards: Peter Stibbons, of Poppyland Publishing, receives the award.
Picture: Nick ButcherEast Anglian Book Awards: Peter Stibbons, of Poppyland Publishing, receives the award. Picture: Nick Butcher

Mal Peet Children’s Award (judge: Rowan Mantell) - The Nearest Far Away Place, by Hayley Long (Hot Key Books). Lapwing & Fox won the General Non-Fiction category, judged by Rebecca Stott.

Lapwing & Fox follows in the footsteps of last year’s overall winner, Jill Dawson, for her Suffolk-set novel The Crime Writer.

The awards, organised by the Eastern Daily Press, Jarrold, and Writers’ Centre Norwich in association with the UEA, were founded in 2008. Since that time they have highlighted the works of well over 130 authors, almost 170 titles, and more than 90 local, regional and national publishers.

The event also saw the presentation of the ‘Book by the Cover’ design award, sponsored by the East Anglian Writers. The winner was Neil Powell’s Was and Is, with detail from ‘Fishermen in Finisterre’ by Keith Vaughan. The Award is going to the Keith Vaughan Society, and Gerard Hastings accepted it on behalf of the society.

East Anglian Book Awards 2017 
Picture: Nick ButcherEast Anglian Book Awards 2017 Picture: Nick Butcher

And Peter Stibbons, of Poppyland Publishing in Cromer, received this year’s Exceptional Contribution Award. The judges described him as ‘an East Anglian publisher par excellence’ who had now released around 150 books, and building a considerable reputation for publishing well-researched books that inform as well as entertain.

Jarrolds book buyer Chris Rushby, host of the tenth East Anglian Book Awards 2017. 
Picture: Nick ButcherJarrolds book buyer Chris Rushby, host of the tenth East Anglian Book Awards 2017. Picture: Nick Butcher

Historical novelist Rory Clements, one of the speakers at the East Anglian Book Awards 2017. 
Picture: Nick ButcherHistorical novelist Rory Clements, one of the speakers at the East Anglian Book Awards 2017. Picture: Nick Butcher

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