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

TEAriffic! Afternoon Tea is back at Dobbies!

TEAriffic! Afternoon Tea is back at Dobbies!

Whether you're celebrating something special or catching up with friends, Dobbies' Afternoon Tea is perfect for any occasion!
Last Updated: 7th August 2020
Laugh a minute at The Parking Lot Social

Laugh a minute at The Parking Lot Social

Glasgow comedian Marc Jennings is set to headline the Parking LOL Comedy Nights in Edinburgh and Glasgow!
Last Updated: 7th August 2020
Traverse Theatre announces Breakfast Plays will go ahead as a series of podcast episodes

Traverse Theatre announces Breakfast Plays will go ahead as a series of podcast episodes

The Traverse is delighted to announce that one of the most-loved elements of its annual Traverse Festival programme, the Breakfast Plays, will be produced this year as a series of podcast episodes.
Last Updated: 6th August 2020
Edinburgh nurseries welcome community for open days

Edinburgh nurseries welcome community for open days

Busy Bees nurseries in Edinburgh are welcoming the community through the doors for an open day for the first time since lockdown was announced.
Last Updated: 6th August 2020
Baby monkey at Edinburgh Zoo named by keepers

Baby monkey at Edinburgh Zoo named by keepers

A three-month-old L’Hoest’s monkey born at Edinburgh Zoo in May has been named 'Butembo' in tribute to the species’ native home in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Last Updated: 6th August 2020
Forth Bridge Lego

Forth Bridge Lego

The quest to have Scotland's very first ever LEGO set endorsed by the LEGO Ideas Group took one step closer to becoming a reality last week.
Last Updated: 6th August 2020
Mercat Tours Relaunch

Mercat Tours Relaunch

Mercat Tours, a family-run Edinburgh-based tourism business, will relaunch on Thursday 27th August!
Last Updated: 5th August 2020
National Trust for Scotland reopens more facilities

National Trust for Scotland reopens more facilities

National Trust for Scotland has reopened play parks, cafes and visitor centres at several properties across the country.
Last Updated: 4th August 2020
 Butterfly and Insect World welcomes back customers

Butterfly and Insect World welcomes back customers

Following updated guidance from Scottish Government that visitor attractions may reopen, Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World is now welcoming back visitors.
Last Updated: 4th August 2020
Harvey Nichols Edinburgh Joins Eat Out to Help Out Scheme

Harvey Nichols Edinburgh Joins Eat Out to Help Out Scheme

Harvey Nichols Edinburgh has joined the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which runs Mondays – Wednesdays during August 2020.
Last Updated: 4th August 2020
Drive in tour to host first live audience sporting event since lockdown

Drive in tour to host first live audience sporting event since lockdown

The Parking Lot Social, Scotland's biggest ever drive-in tour, has announced that it will be hosting the first live audience sporting event since the start of lockdown!
Last Updated: 4th August 2020
Edinburgh International Festival Lights Up the City

Edinburgh International Festival Lights Up the City

Edinburgh International Festival unveils My Light Shines On, a series of video works and light installations across Scotland’s capital, and reveals digital line-up of Scottish Artists!
Last Updated: 4th August 2020
Traverse Theatre announces Declan, the first event of their Digital Festival 2020

Traverse Theatre announces Declan, the first event of their Digital Festival 2020

The Traverse Theatre today announces Declan, a brand new take on their 2019 Traverse Festival hit Mouthpiece about class, culture and appropriation.
Last Updated: 3rd August 2020
Noto on Thistle Street reopens with a new menu

Noto on Thistle Street reopens with a new menu

Edinburgh chef, Stuart Ralston’s Thistle Street restaurant, Noto has re-opened with a brand new menu.
Last Updated: 3rd August 2020
Scottish artists pick their all time favourite Scottish albums for SAY Award

Scottish artists pick their all time favourite Scottish albums for SAY Award

Deacon Blue, Declan Welsh, Sacred Paws, The Snuts, Tide Lines, Vukovi and more pick their all time favourite Scottish albums for the SAY Award, with two days left until submissions close.
Last Updated: 29th July 2020
Eat Out To Help Out at Dobbies

Eat Out To Help Out at Dobbies

Dobbies, the UK's leading garden centre retailer, is taking part in the UK Government's Eat Out To Help Out scheme which gives diners 50% off their restaurant bill up to the value of £10.
Last Updated: 28th July 2020
Hard Rock Cafe Edinburgh Extend Eat Out To Help Out Offer in August

Hard Rock Cafe Edinburgh Extend Eat Out To Help Out Offer in August

Diners at Hard Rock Cafe Edinburgh can take advantage of the ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ 50% off extended offer available from Monday to Friday throughout August.
Last Updated: 28th July 2020
The Little Chartroom launches Portobello street food pop up

The Little Chartroom launches Portobello street food pop up

The Little Chartroom has just announced it will be launching a street food pop up on the Prom at Portobello from 1 August.
Last Updated: 27th July 2020
New look, new website for Love Loch Lomond

New look, new website for Love Loch Lomond

Love Loch Lomond, the official destination organisation for the Loch Lomond, Trossachs and Clyde Sea Lochs area has launched a new website alongside their new brand.
Last Updated: 27th July 2020
Say Yes to the Sustainable Wedding Dress

Say Yes to the Sustainable Wedding Dress

Rachel Scott Couture reveals new eco-friendly, ethically produced, vegan friendly bridal collection from designer, Rolling In Roses.
Last Updated: 27th July 2020
Drive in event dates extended as Scotland gets the green light

Drive in event dates extended as Scotland gets the green light

The Parking Lot Social, Scotland's biggest ever drive-in tour, has announced extra dates to its Edinburgh and Glasgow stops!
Last Updated: 23rd July 2020
BIAZA Photography Competition

BIAZA Photography Competition

RZSS is thrilled to say that one of their Highland Wildlife Park team was Highly Commended in the annual BIAZA photography competition.
Last Updated: 23rd July 2020
Proposals for gradual reopening of Libraries and Community Centres announced

Proposals for gradual reopening of Libraries and Community Centres announced

Edinburgh Council has begun a three-stage phased plan for the reopening of its libraries and community centres, with the second and third stages being subject to committee approval.
Last Updated: 23rd July 2020
Tickets now on sale for some of top visitor attractions in Scotland

Tickets now on sale for some of top visitor attractions in Scotland

Online booking opens today (Wednesday 22 July) for three of Scotland’s most iconic castles - Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle and Urquhart Castle.
Last Updated: 22nd July 2020
Harvey Nichols Edinburgh announces Forth Floor Dining will reopen 29th July

Harvey Nichols Edinburgh announces Forth Floor Dining will reopen 29th July

Harvey Nichols, Edinburgh is delighted to announce that Forth Floor dining will return on Wednesday 29th July.
Last Updated: 22nd July 2020
Decision on Winter Festivals 2020 expected in August

Decision on Winter Festivals 2020 expected in August

Initial discussions exploring potential revised plans for how both Edinburgh's Christmas and Hogmanay could be celebrated in 2020 are underway with the Council All Party Oversight Group.
Last Updated: 22nd July 2020
Double international award success for Scottish heather honey

Double international award success for Scottish heather honey

Edinburgh’s The Scottish Bee Company is celebrating this week after receiving two top industry accolades at the London International Honey Awards (LIHA).
Last Updated: 21st July 2020
Green light for live drive in events

Green light for live drive in events

Scotland's live event sector will be given the green light to hold drive-in entertainment from Wednesday 22nd July.
Last Updated: 20th July 2020
Historic floral clock in West Princes Street Gardens pays tribute to NHS and key workers

Historic floral clock in West Princes Street Gardens pays tribute to NHS and key workers

Work has finished to complete this year's design on the world's oldest Floral Clock in Edinburgh's West Princes Street Gardens.
Last Updated: 20th July 2020
One of the most unique visitor attractions in Edinburgh is set to reopen tomorrow!

One of the most unique visitor attractions in Edinburgh is set to reopen tomorrow!

The Real Mary King's Close located underneath the famous Royal Mile in Edinburgh has announced it will re-open to the public this Saturday, 18th July!
Last Updated: 17th July 2020

Sponsored Links

Popular Events

At The Drive In: Edinburgh
@TheDriveIn is a fully loaded drive in cinema experience that is bringing a whole host of drive in activities to Edinburgh in August!
William Shatner and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Set your phasers to fun! Prepare to be beamed up for an unforgettable night with the original ‘Captain James T. Kirk’, award-winning actor William Shatner.
EIFF and Unique Events present: Drive In Movies
Edinburgh International Film Festival and Unique Events have teamed up with Edinburgh Airport to produce a new monthly event for cinema fans throughout the rest of 2020!
Music in the open air
Enjoy the sound of traditional Scottish fiddle music in solo performances as you stroll through the gardens of the Palace of Holyroodhouse!
Edinburgh Zoo After Hours
This summer, Edinburgh Zoo is opening the zoo gates after hours, giving you more opportunity to see your favourite animals!

Popular Venues

Edinburgh Playhouse Festival Theatre Edinburgh Kings Theatre Edinburgh National Museum of Scotland Traverse Theatre