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The Outrun Bags The Wainwright Prize 2016

Posted on 5th August 2016 by Sally Campbell
It’s our pleasure this afternoon to confirm that Amy Liptrot’s masterful debut The Outrun has clinched this year’s Wainwright Prize. From an almost impossibly strong field, Liptrot’s sometimes breathtakingly candid account of breakdown and salvation has emerged as the victor for this increasingly influential literary award. Last year’s winner, Meadowland by John Lewis-Stempel, stormed to the top of our charts and has established the standard for fine rural writing.

Searing debut from Amy Liptrot secures significant literary win

‘Her descriptive writing of the [Orkney] islands and their wildlife absolutely sizzles, a scintillating mix of clear-eyed insight and poetic heart…. Amy Liptrot is the real deal, a writer whose voice seems fully formed on the page, and I can't wait to read what she writes next.' - Independent on Sunday

The Outrun is a tale that addresses a kind of redemption. Amy Liptrot represents something within us all, an individual spinning in the gears of post-millennial life. Consumed by job and city, lost relationships and loneliness, Liptrot’s London-bound alcoholic descent is arrested only by a chance return to Orkney, sometime childhood home and soon-to-be refuge. New technology – in the form of a much-regarded online blog – provides an outlet for her written meditations and the theme of technology and our relationship toward it (sometimes positive, sometimes not) runs through the entire narrative. In time, Orkney - and specifically the remote island of Papa Westray - becomes a practical, living touchstone, its wilderness becoming the perfect liberation from Liptrot’s troubling dependencies.

By perfect symmetry, we’re proud to announce that The Outrun was already our selection for next month’s Non-Fiction Book of the Month so we’ll be supporting this absolutely stunning volume of writing throughout September and beyond. We congratulate our friends at the Wainwright Prize for yet another superb shortlist and arriving at such a powerful overall winner. We’ve all loved The Outrun since it first saw print and it will now surely find the audience it so deserves.


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