Isabel Widener wins Goldsmiths Award for ‘amazing’ sterling gold | Goldsmiths Prize

Isabel Widener won an award Goldsmiths Prize For Sterling Karat Gold’s “fantasy at its most,” a work the judges said combined “the real and the legendary, the beautiful and the wonderful, to a mind-boggling effect.”

The award, set up jointly with New Statesman in 2013, aims to reward “fiction that breaks the mold and expands the possibilities of the novel format,” with previous winners ranging from Lucy Elman’s duck, Newburyport to me Eimear McBride’s A Girl is a half-Forming thing.

Widener received their third novel award, having previously been shortlisted We are made of diamonds in 2019. Sterling Karat Gold, which beat novels including Checkout 19 by Claire-Louise Bennett, This One Sky Day by Leonie Ross, and Rebecca Watson’s little scratch On the award, it follows a non-binary immigrant cleaner who is arrested in London. They must challenge bullfighters, soccer players, and spaceships to clear themselves. Its publisher, Peninsula Press, describes it as “Kafka’s written trial for the age of gaslighting”.

“From page one, the Camden wrestlers make perfect sense and we wait to see what might happen in the next corner. “Widner has a lively, distinctive intelligence that drives shape to make us see the world around us in new ways, perhaps even for the first time,” said Judge Camila Shamsie. Time is constrained by the limitations of Google Maps and experiences outside Hieronymus Bosch have never fascinated the human heart in this tale of friendship, art, injustice, and everything imaginable or imaginable.”

Widener grew up in Germany before moving to the United Kingdom at the age of twenty. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing/Performance at Queen Mary University of London. The Observer This Summer That the life of their hero Sterling, who worked as a cleaner while co-producing a collectively funded art project, mirrored theirs until a few years ago.

They said that many people who come to London as immigrants, especially gay and transgender immigrants, work in these jobs while trying to do something more ambitious and at the same time manipulating the oppressive structures that affect our lives. “I worked in minimum wage jobs until my mid-30s, when Roehampton gave me a scholarship to get my Ph.D. I display a complexity we don’t always see in novels: working-class characters often do one thing – work – and then maybe they’re a little bit criminal, and that’s everything “.

They told The New Statesman that the Goldsmiths Prize was needed “urgently, to promote new ideas in relation to the novel … I came to think of the British novel as – if not so The – the technology of reproducing the values ​​and aesthetics of the white middle class and a certain kind of “acceptable” nationalism, ” Widener said. “So she has To change, and not just subtly either. In my experience, readers are more willing to encounter new and unfamiliar forms of writing with curiosity and a sense of adventure, rather than fear and defensiveness as is often assumed.”

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