Argentinian Writer Wins the 2019 Edinburgh International Book Festival First Book Award

Argentinian Writer Wins the 2019 Edinburgh International Book Festival First Book Award

Organisers of the Edinburgh International Book Festival today announced that the Argentinian writer Selva Almada has won the Festival’s 2019 First Book Award.

Organisers of the Edinburgh International Book Festival today announced that the Argentinian writer Selva Almada has won the Festival’s 2019 First Book Award with her debut novel, The Wind That Lays Waste. The novel, which was nominated for the Argentinian Book of the Year Award when published in 2012, has been translated by Chris Andrews and was published by Charco Press in the UK in July 2019.

The First Book Award celebrates the wealth of new fiction from the UK and around the world featured in the Book Festival public programme by giving readers and visitors to the Festival a chance to vote for their favourite. This year 46 debut novelists and overseas writers whose words were published in English for the first time were eligible for the award, including a selection of young adult fiction.

Considered as one of the most powerful voices in contemporary Argentinian literature and lauded as a rising star of Latin American fiction, Almada also has a reputation as one of the region’s most prominent feminist intellectuals. Her work has been translated into French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Swedish and Turkish. She has been a finalist of the Rodolfo Walsh Award and of the Tigre Juan Award (both in Spain).

Selva Almada said “I am very pleased that my book has been chosen by the readers. The Wind that Lays Waste is the first novel I ever wrote and the one that opened doors for me to thousands of readers not just in my country, but also in a wide array of places such as Sweden, Brazil, France, Portugal, Germany, Holland, the US… and now, the UK. The edition that Charco Press has produced is one of the most beautiful, and through this award I celebrate the meticulous and loving labour of this publishing house. I am very grateful to the Edinburgh International Book Festival. I truly enjoyed my participation and my visit to the city last August. This award is an unexpected gift; the best sign for all my books to come in the UK. Many, many thanks.”

Nick Barley, Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, said “The Wind That Lays Waste is a quietly devastating book that packs a heavyweight punch despite being a slender novella. Four tightly-drawn characters locking horns amid the ominous landscape of the Argentine pampas: this is a mini masterpiece that is quite simply a perfect choice as our First Book Award winner.”

Selva Almada’s exquisitely crafted debut, with its limpid and confident prose, is a profound, poetic and nearly-tangible experience of the landscape amid hot winds, wrecked cars, sweat-stained shirts and damaged lives. It is told with the cinematic precision of a static road movie, like a Paris, Texas of the south. The Wind That Lays Waste is a powerfully distinctive novel that marks the arrival in English of an author whose talent and poise are undeniable.

The novel was a clear favourite, with voters commenting “This book is a masterpiece: beautiful, sparse, dark and descriptive with characters that feel so real you could swear you've crossed paths with them at some forgotten roadside outpost.” “It is a story of deterritorialization, love and defeat. In some sense, it shows us human ambition in a small world, surrounded by miseries and weaknesses.” and “One of the best books I've read in a long time. Its prose is filled with a deep understanding of the human condition, love and sorrow.”

For full details of all writers and books eligible for the 2019 First Book Award go to www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/first-book-award.

The 2020 Edinburgh International Book Festival will run from Saturday 15 to Monday 31 August and the full programme will be announced in June.

Last Updated: 4 November 2019 14:02

Latest Local News

Macdonald Resorts to help spread Christmas cheer with Emergency Service Discount

Macdonald Resorts to help spread Christmas cheer with Emergency Service Discount

To thank Emergency Service workers and help them relax after the festive season, Macdonald Resorts is offering an exclusive discount to be enjoyed after the big day.
Last Updated: 12th December 2019
Eat, Rock and Be Merry at Hard Rock Cafe Glasgow and Edinburgh this Christmas

Eat, Rock and Be Merry at Hard Rock Cafe Glasgow and Edinburgh this Christmas

Hard Rock Cafe® Glasgow and Edinburgh Serve Up Limited-Time, Multi-Course Menu Offerings and Breakfast with Santa for the Holidays.
Last Updated: 11th December 2019
Edinburgh International Childrens Festival 2020 commission announced

Edinburgh International Childrens Festival 2020 commission announced

Imaginate is delighted to announce that its 2020 Festival commission will be 'Learning to Fly'a production by Barrowland Ballet.
Last Updated: 11th December 2019
Big Screen Christmas treats coming up at Vue Edinburgh Ocean and Vue Edinburgh Omni

Big Screen Christmas treats coming up at Vue Edinburgh Ocean and Vue Edinburgh Omni

This Christmas, visitors to Vue Edinburgh Ocean and Vue Edinburgh Omni can expect a festive array of screenings, including old classics, newly released films, live music and more.
Last Updated: 10th December 2019
Planning a festive proposal...

Planning a festive proposal...

Macdonald Hotels & Resorts has marked the most romantic locations within its hotels with a velvet cushion designed to provide comfort to those getting down on one knee.
Last Updated: 10th December 2019
Mrs Browns Boys is Back!

Mrs Browns Boys is Back!

The Award-Winning Brendan O’Carroll and Mrs. Brown’s Boys have announced a live return to Edinburgh in 2020 with ‘Mrs Brown D’ Live Show.
Last Updated: 7th December 2019
Roland Gulliver to step down as Associate Director of Edinburgh International Book Festival

Roland Gulliver to step down as Associate Director of Edinburgh International Book Festival

Roland Gulliver is to leave his role as Associate Director of Edinburgh International Book Festival in spring 2020 to take up an exciting new role which will be announced shortly.
Last Updated: 6th December 2019
Award winning 21 year old CEO, Chris Thomas, reveals the secrets of his success

Award winning 21 year old CEO, Chris Thomas, reveals the secrets of his success

21 year old Chris Thomas, the CEO of incovo, has just scooped the award for 'Business Growth' at the West Lothian Business Awards!
Last Updated: 6th December 2019
Scotch liqueur crowned king of the castle in Edinburgh

Scotch liqueur crowned king of the castle in Edinburgh

Scotland’s leading Scotch malt whisky cream liqueur, Magnum, has been crowned one of the top selling products at Edinburgh Castle after smashing its annual sales target.
Last Updated: 4th December 2019
Edinburgh Gin Advert premieres with projection onto The Dome

Edinburgh Gin Advert premieres with projection onto The Dome

Edinburgh Gin premieres its new advert on the streets of Edinburgh at 6pm tonight, with a special night-time projection on one of the city’s most iconic buildings, The Dome.
Last Updated: 3rd December 2019
Festive fun for a good cause at Edinburgh care home

Festive fun for a good cause at Edinburgh care home

On Saturday 7th December, from 2pm-4pm, the Care UK team at Cairdean House, on Redford Road, will open the home’s doors for a Christmas celebration in aid of the Bethany Christian Trust.
Last Updated: 3rd December 2019
Traverse Theatre announces Spring 2020 Season

Traverse Theatre announces Spring 2020 Season

Traverse Theatre announces Spring 2020 Season and launches £1 tickets for young people and those in receipt of a range of allowances.
Last Updated: 2nd December 2019
Alasdair Gray wins the Inaugural Saltire Society Scottish Lifetime Achievement Award

Alasdair Gray wins the Inaugural Saltire Society Scottish Lifetime Achievement Award

In a ceremony presided over by BBC Presenter Cathy MacDonald, Alasdair Gray was awarded the inaugural Saltire Society Scottish Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to Scottish literature.
Last Updated: 1st December 2019
Get your hands on some of the hottest tickets in town this Black Friday

Get your hands on some of the hottest tickets in town this Black Friday

This Black Friday sees some amazing offers available on tickets for the biggest and best shows and gigs in Glasgow and Edinburgh!
Last Updated: 29th November 2019
Edinburgh care home set to celebrate first anniversary in style

Edinburgh care home set to celebrate first anniversary in style

Care UK’s Murrayside, on South Beechwood is inviting the local community to help mark its first birthday, in true Scottish fashion.
Last Updated: 22nd November 2019
Lothians Schoolgirl crowned best home baker in Scotland

Lothians Schoolgirl crowned best home baker in Scotland

The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant at the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh has named 14-year-old Grace Warnock its champion home baker following its nationwide search earlier this year.
Last Updated: 21st November 2019
Family festivities begin at Vue Edinburgh Ocean and Omni with CBeebies Christmas Show: Hansel and Gretel

Family festivities begin at Vue Edinburgh Ocean and Omni with CBeebies Christmas Show: Hansel and Gretel

Once again, the family-friendly feast of festive fun that is the CBeebies Christmas Show is coming to Vue Edinburgh Ocean and Vue Edinburgh Omni.
Last Updated: 21st November 2019
Hard Rock Cafe Glasgow and Edinburgh will serve up a rockin meal for guests this Thanksgiving!

Hard Rock Cafe Glasgow and Edinburgh will serve up a rockin meal for guests this Thanksgiving!

Hard Rock Cafe® Glasgow and Edinburgh will extend a warm holiday welcome to guests this Thanksgiving by serving up a limited-time turkey meal on Thursday, 28th November!
Last Updated: 18th November 2019
Edinburgh care home chef turns up the heat in national awards

Edinburgh care home chef turns up the heat in national awards

Iain Young, head chef at Murrayside care home, at South Beechwood, has made it to the final stage in the ‘Nutrition and eating well’ category in the Scottish Care Home Awards 2019.
Last Updated: 14th November 2019
Cat Hepburn embarks on Scottish student tour as part of Book Week Scotland

Cat Hepburn embarks on Scottish student tour as part of Book Week Scotland

The Scottish Book Trust has announced that award winning scriptwriter and spoken word artist Cat Hepburn will embark on a tour for Scottish students as part of Book Week Scotland.
Last Updated: 13th November 2019
Traverse Theatre announces new artistic leadership team and board appointments

Traverse Theatre announces new artistic leadership team and board appointments

The Traverse Theatre announces the successful candidates who will join the organisation’s artistic and producing team following an extensive recruitment process.
Last Updated: 13th November 2019
Musical spectacular arrives at Vue Edinburgh Ocean and Vue Edinburgh Omni

Musical spectacular arrives at Vue Edinburgh Ocean and Vue Edinburgh Omni

Les Misérables, one of the world’s most popular musicals, is coming to Vue Edinburgh Ocean and Vue Edinburgh Omni this December.
Last Updated: 12th November 2019
Scotland asked to come together with One Kind Act

Scotland asked to come together with One Kind Act

The people of Scotland are being encouraged to celebrate St Andrew's Day (30th November) by carrying out an act of kindness!
Last Updated: 12th November 2019
Cineworld Edinburgh unveils fully refurbished cinema

Cineworld Edinburgh unveils fully refurbished cinema

Cineworld Edinburgh announces an exclusive £3 ticket offer to celebrate its completed refurbishment, available only for 2D screenings from Friday 15th to Thursday 21st November.
Last Updated: 12th November 2019
Edinburgh crowned most historic city in the north of England and Scotland

Edinburgh crowned most historic city in the north of England and Scotland

Edinburgh has been found to be the most historic city in all the north of England and Scotland, thanks to its vast array of historical experiences compared to its counterparts
Last Updated: 11th November 2019
Frozen 2 finally arrives at Vue Edinburgh Omni and Vue Edinburgh Ocean

Frozen 2 finally arrives at Vue Edinburgh Omni and Vue Edinburgh Ocean

Fans of Anna and Elsa can now get tickets for Disney’s enchanting sequel Frozen 2, which is set to be released in Vue Edinburgh Omni and Vue Edinburgh Ocean on the 22nd November.
Last Updated: 7th November 2019
Macdonald Holyrood Hotel transforms restaurant into a fresh food market as it celebrates 20th year

Macdonald Holyrood Hotel transforms restaurant into a fresh food market as it celebrates 20th year

Last night, the great and the good of Scotland’s foodie scene were invited to discover culinary secrets from the recently opened Surf & Turf restaurant at Macdonald Holyrood Hotel.
Last Updated: 7th November 2019
Gleneagles The Strathearn Series to celebrate brightest kitchen talent in Edinburgh

Gleneagles The Strathearn Series to celebrate brightest kitchen talent in Edinburgh

Gleneagles is set to serve up a fresh culinary adventure when it opens the doors to its kitchen for ‘The Strathearn Series’.
Last Updated: 6th November 2019
Enjoy breakfast with Santa at Dobbies

Enjoy breakfast with Santa at Dobbies

For a festive feast that your little ones won't forget, Dobbies is giving families the chance to enjoy a special breakfast with Santa!
Last Updated: 6th November 2019
Broadway Blockbuster arrives at Vue Edinburgh Omni and Vue Edinburgh Ocean

Broadway Blockbuster arrives at Vue Edinburgh Omni and Vue Edinburgh Ocean

Kinky Boots will arrive in Vue Edinburgh Omni and Vue Edinburgh Ocean in February and tickets are on sale now!
Last Updated: 5th November 2019

Sponsored Links

Popular Events

Castle of Light
Expect wonder, enchantment and a spectacle of colour this festive season as Edinburgh Castle, the defender of the nation, becomes the ‘Castle of Light’!
24 Doors of Advent
Throughout December Edinburgh opens its doors to showcase the unique buildings in the city in this real-life advent calendar.
Christmas 2O19: Scottish Ballet The Snow Queen
Scottish Ballet’s 50th year will come to a spectacular close with the world premiere of The Snow Queen this Christmas at the Festival Theatre!
A Christmas Cabaret
Join Bruce Devlin for a Christmas cracker of a cabaret show in a fast paced festive hour at The Stand Comedy Club!
Christmas at the Botanics 2019
Explore the sights and sounds of Christmas in this magical after dark experience at the Royal Botanic Gardens!

Advertise With Us

Advertise With Us

Looking to reach new customers? We offer a variety of advertising options with prices starting from just £30 per month!

Click here to find out more »