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Indie Book Awards 2022 Winners Announced

Writing.ie | Magazine | News for Writers
Indie Book Awards

By Writing.ie

The winners for the Indie Book Awards 2022, the annual awards curated exclusively by independent bookshops have been revealed.

Winning in the Fiction category is poet Salena Godden with her debut novel Mrs Death Misses Death (Canongate), described by The Guardian as “a miraculously light-hearted novel, leavened in the right places with a caustic, perceptive wit.” Meanwhile, Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason took home the Non-Fiction prize with House of Music – Raising the Kanneh-Masons (Oneworld), a joyous celebration of the musical talents of the Kanneh-Mason family, which also serves as a window into issues of race and class in twenty-first century Britain.

When I Was the Greatest (Faber) by New York Times best-selling author Jason Reynolds, illustrated by Akhran Girmay, is the winner of the Children’s Fiction category, while Joseph Coelho and Allison Colpoys won in the Picture Book category for My Beautiful Voice (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books). The duo has previously won an Indie Book Award in the same category for If All the World Were… in 2019.

Recognising the best paperback books of the summer as voted for exclusively by independent booksellers, the Indie Book Awards celebrate the best reads for the summer season. The winners were announced this morning on Mark Forrest’s show on Scala Radio, the official media partner of the Indie Book Awards.

Salena Godden said: “It is a huge privilege and a great honour to see Mrs Death MissesDeath win the Indie Book Awards – it means so much to me to find my debut novel has been chosen by you, indie booksellers and book lovers. I feel immense gratitude to bookshops and libraries and the book community on a whole and have so enjoyed visiting bookshops and meeting people passionate about literature in person and online since the book was published. I must also give thanks to the death positive movement and the global death positive community, it has been such a powerful and humbling experience to connect with readers in this time, with our shared grief and loss, our shared hope and resilience, with a book that specifically invites us to mourn the dead and fight like hell for the living and to celebrate our short time here. Thank you to every person who connected with Mrs Death Misses Death and the lives and hopes shared in these pages.”

Joseph Coelho said: “When you enter an independent book shop, you enter a mind, a curated space, a library of love, of books chosen out of care and appreciation, out of whim and fancy. I am completely honoured to see mine and Allison Colpoys – My Beautiful Voice chosen as this year’s Indie Book Award winner and can’t wait to see our little book about finding you voice singing out from the bookshelves of these very special book shops.”

The judging panel for the Adult categories consisted of chair Matt Steele (Ivybridge Bookshop), Melanie Greenwood (DRAKE The Bookshop), Carolynn Bain (Afrori Books), Sally Pattle (Far From the Madding Crowd) and Stephanie Goulden (Blackwell’s Edinburgh).

The Children’s categories were judged by Jasmine Dellimore (Moon Lane Books), Alex Forbes (Four Bears Books), Fiona McDonald (Blackwell’s Edinburgh), Annie McCloskey (David’s Bookshop), with Meera Ghanshamdas (Round Table Books) as the judges’ chair.

Matt Steele from The Ivybridge Bookshop, Chair of the Adult Categories Judging Panel, said: “From a very strong Fiction shortlist, and much deliberation,Mrs Death Misses Death by Salena Godden emerged as a clear winner. It is a thought-provoking read that breaks many moulds in its clever mixing of styles, and as a debut novel is truly remarkable. This is a book that independent bookshops can be proud to champion.”

The House of Music by Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason leapt out from the fascinating sweep of narrative of Non-Fiction that the shortlist presented. The story of the Kanneh-Mason family is uplifting whilst showing the vulnerability and rawness of real life. It is a salute to a hard-working and talented family, who have overcome immeasurable barriers through the generations.“

The UK-based winners of the Indie Book Awards will be presented with their awards in indie bookshops during Independent Bookshop Week:

·       Salena Godden will be picking up her award at Libreria (London), the bookshop where she did her first ever paperback event for Mrs Death Misses Death, on Friday 24 June at 1pm.

·       Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason will be presented with her award at her local bookshop, The Bookcase (Lowdham), on Friday 24 June at 11.30am.

·       Joseph Coelho will be receiving his award on Friday 24 June at 11.30am at Tales on Moon Lane (Ramsgate, Kent). Allison Colpoys is based in Australia.

·       Akhran Girmay, illustrator of When I Was the Greatest, will be presented with his award on Saturday 25 June at 11am at Moon Lane Books (London), in the presence of bookseller Indie Book Award Children’s judge Jasmine Dellimore. Jason Reynolds is based in the US.

Emma Bradshaw, Head of Campaigns, Booksellers Association, said: “As Independnet Bookshop Week draws to a close, we are thrilled to reveal the winners of the Indie Book Awards, ranging from debut novelists to New York Times bestelling authors, to former Indie Book Awards winners. The awards celebrate the best paperback reads of the summer, as recommended by independent booksellers. We are sure these books will delight and entertain lots of readers throughout the summer period (and beyond!). Many congratulations to all the winners, and we look forward to presenting them with their awards at their local bookshops.”

For more information about the Indie Book Awards and previous winners, please visit www.booksaremybag.com/IndieBookAwards/Shortlist.

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