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

LHoests monkey baby born at Edinburgh Zoo

LHoests monkey baby born at Edinburgh Zoo

An adorable one-month old L’Hoest’s monkey baby has been caught on camera for the first time at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s Edinburgh Zoo.
Last Updated: 3rd July 2020
VisitScotland launches new Sketching Scotland series

VisitScotland launches new Sketching Scotland series

VisitScotland has come up with a new way to draw attention to some of the country’s most iconic sights!
Last Updated: 2nd July 2020
Culzean Country Park is reopening on Monday 6th July

Culzean Country Park is reopening on Monday 6th July

Culzean Country Park is set to reopen next week and the team are advising visitors to pre-book their admission online in advance.
Last Updated: 1st July 2020
Scottish Album of the Year Award goes digital

Scottish Album of the Year Award goes digital

The Scottish Album of the Year Award is calling on music fans, artists and labels to submit eligible albums to be in the running for Scotland's pre-eminent music prize!
Last Updated: 1st July 2020
Visit the City Art Centre online

Visit the City Art Centre online

A new initiative lets people view Museums & Galleries Edinburgh's collections online.
Last Updated: 30th June 2020
Annual Paisley festival gets ready for digital debut!

Annual Paisley festival gets ready for digital debut!

This weekend marks the digital debut of Paisley's annual Sma' Shot Day celebrations as a series of virtual events and workshops will take place to mark this important date in the town's calendar.
Last Updated: 29th June 2020
Fans to relive festival highlights with a special TRNSMT takeover on BBC Scotland

Fans to relive festival highlights with a special TRNSMT takeover on BBC Scotland

Highlights from some of the most iconic performances from previous years will be broadcast for one night only on BBC Scotland and iPlayer, during what should have been the weekend of TRNSMT 2020!
Last Updated: 28th June 2020
itison announce Drive In Movies Summer (of lockdown)

itison announce Drive In Movies Summer (of lockdown)

itison confirm they will be returning to the stunning shores of Loch Lomond this July with Scotland's first socially distanced event, Drive In Movies Summer (of lockdown)!
Last Updated: 25th June 2020
Join Greyfriars Kirk to make your own Lockdown Bobby with sculptor Mark Coreth

Join Greyfriars Kirk to make your own Lockdown Bobby with sculptor Mark Coreth

Greyfriars Kirk is inviting budding artists to take part in a community art project in partnership with a renowned sculptor.
Last Updated: 25th June 2020
Schools out for Summer with Forth 1 Summer Parties

Schools out for Summer with Forth 1 Summer Parties

Forth 1 DJs, Callum Gallacher and Boogie, are celebrating the end of what has been an unusual school term with the ultimate Schools Out for Summer parties.
Last Updated: 24th June 2020
Paul Wedgwood launches his summer service, Wedgwood Alfresco

Paul Wedgwood launches his summer service, Wedgwood Alfresco

Edinburgh’s Wedgwood the Restaurant is now offering a new “at home” al fresco restaurant experience.
Last Updated: 24th June 2020
560 grassroots music venues, including 42 in Scotland, sign open letter to UK Government

560 grassroots music venues, including 42 in Scotland, sign open letter to UK Government

42 grassroots music venues in Scotland sign the Music Venue Trust's open letter to the UK Government highlighting the need for an immediate financial support package to prevent venues closing.
Last Updated: 24th June 2020
National Trust for Scotland gardens and grounds get ready for visitors again

National Trust for Scotland gardens and grounds get ready for visitors again

The National Trust for Scotland is preparing to welcome visitors again at dozens of gardens and estates across the country, as lockdown continues to ease.
Last Updated: 23rd June 2020
Rare whale bones amongst historical discoveries made in tram project excavations

Rare whale bones amongst historical discoveries made in tram project excavations

An assortment of historic artefacts unearthed around Constitution Street as part of the Trams to Newhaven project, along with archaeological investigations, have shed new light on the area's history.
Last Updated: 18th June 2020
Win a pub experience for your garden!

Win a pub experience for your garden!

Tennent’s Lager are asking you to share your Da's best dad joke for your chance to win a pub experience in your garden!
Last Updated: 17th June 2020
Future of Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park at risk

Future of Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park at risk

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland has appealed to the Scottish Government to find a safe way to reopen Edinburgh Zoo & Highland Wildlife Park, warning that their futures are at risk.
Last Updated: 12th June 2020
Scottish Bee Company awarded first BSI Kitemark in UK for Food Assurance

Scottish Bee Company awarded first BSI Kitemark in UK for Food Assurance

Edinburgh’s Scottish Bee Company has become the first ever food product in the UK to be awarded the new British Standards Institution (BSI) Kitemark™ for Food Assurance.
Last Updated: 12th June 2020
Edinburgh International Book Festival to Present Online Festival in August 2020

Edinburgh International Book Festival to Present Online Festival in August 2020

Organisers of the Edinburgh International Book Festival announced today that they will be presenting the 2020 Book Festival online from Saturday 15 to Monday 31 August.
Last Updated: 11th June 2020
VisitScotland CEO welcomes provisional date of 15th July for reopening of tourism businesses

VisitScotland CEO welcomes provisional date of 15th July for reopening of tourism businesses

VisitScotland Chief Executive has welcomed today's announcement from Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism.
Last Updated: 10th June 2020
Scottish Charities working together during the pandemic

Scottish Charities working together during the pandemic

Two Scottish charities have teamed up to help some of the most vulnerable people in Glasgow, Edinburgh & Fife who are struggling to cope during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Last Updated: 10th June 2020
16k Dog Owners Remove over 24 MILLION pieces of litter

16k Dog Owners Remove over 24 MILLION pieces of litter

PAWS on PLASTIC invites dog owners to pick up 2 pieces of plastic while out walking their beloved hounds.
Last Updated: 10th June 2020
Scotmid teams up with charity community volunteers to deliver shopping to most vulnerable

Scotmid teams up with charity community volunteers to deliver shopping to most vulnerable

Local Scotmid store in Kirkliston is working in partnership with Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, to provide a free home delivery service to those who are vulnerable and shielding.
Last Updated: 8th June 2020
BBC Debate Night is to Edinburgh and the Lothians

BBC Debate Night is to Edinburgh and the Lothians

BBC Debate Night is on a virtual tour of the country, and on Wednesday 17th June the focus will be on Edinburgh and the Lothians.
Last Updated: 8th June 2020
Temporary road closures at rural beauty spots across Stirling

Temporary road closures at rural beauty spots across Stirling

Temporary road closures will come into force at rural beauty spots across Stirling this weekend to protect communities.
Last Updated: 7th June 2020
Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park prepare to reopen

Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park prepare to reopen

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland will be ready to reopen Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park by the end of June if lockdown eases further.
Last Updated: 7th June 2020
Doors Open Days 2020 is going digital!

Doors Open Days 2020 is going digital!

Doors Open Days, Scotland's biggest free festival of architecture, will present its largest ever digital offering this September!
Last Updated: 5th June 2020
Get ready to get SILLY!

Get ready to get SILLY!

It's almost time for this year's Summer Reading Challenge, and for 2020 it's all about funny books, happiness and having a laugh!
Last Updated: 4th June 2020
Volunteers who have played a vital role in pandemic deserve our praise

Volunteers who have played a vital role in pandemic deserve our praise

This Volunteers Week, Lord Provost Frank Ross pays tribute to those who have volunteered to support vulnerable residents during the pandemic in the Evening News.
Last Updated: 4th June 2020
Putting your old bike to good use with Brake the Cycle

Putting your old bike to good use with Brake the Cycle

The City of Edinburgh Council want your broken, old or unwanted bikes for their Brake the Cycle scheme.
Last Updated: 1st June 2020
Edinburgh Leisure announces phased reopening of outdoor facilities

Edinburgh Leisure announces phased reopening of outdoor facilities

Edinburgh Leisure has announced that several of their golf and tennis facilities will reopen over the coming days.
Last Updated: 30th May 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!
Edinburgh Corn Exchange Car Boot Sale Market
Edinburgh Corn Exchange Car Boot Sale Market will open on 4th & 5th July, but with strict rules and guidelines. Come and join us for some bargains and for sellers to have a clearout!
Edinburgh Farmers Market
Experience Edinburgh’s original Farmers’ Market when it reopens on Saturday 4th July!
Royal Highland Show 2021
One of Scotland's most iconic events 'The Royal Highland Show' returns to the Royal Highland Centre from 17th June!
Corn Exchange Beer Garden
The Corn Exchange Edinburgh has carefully curated the finest "socially-distanced" beer garden in Edinburgh. Come and enjoy a few drinks with your pals from 6th July!

Popular Venues

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