Isabel Waidner wins the 2021 Goldsmiths Prize with Sterling Karat Gold


Isabelle Weidner won the 2021 Jewelers Award for Sterling karat gold, a novel described as “Kafkinovsky Trial written for the gaslighting era. ” Competition Winner £ 10,000 Jewelers Prize, which glorifies “fiction in its very novella” and is conducted jointly with New statesman, was announced during an online ceremony on Wednesday night (November 10).

The novel’s protagonist is Sterling, a non-binary migrant janitor who was attacked and arrested one morning by bullfighters on a London street. Surreal yet visionary, the book explores the impact of state violence on the gender-non-conforming, working class and black people, along the way with time travel, football, and Iraqi history. Jury chairman, memoirist and science fiction writer Nell Stevens described Weidner as “bringing wit, swagger, playfulness and rage on an unhindered journey through an unjust justice system.”

Moments after the announcement of the winner, Weidner said: “Thank you to the judges for supporting a radically different vision of what the world could be if we were liberated from the white middle class and overt and implicit nationalist conventions. I didn’t think it was possible for a book like Sterling karat goldand especially for a writer like me who is British by all means to win my favorite prize in the world, the Goldsmiths. “

Weidner, who was born in the Black Forest, Germany, has lived in London for over two decades. Writers and critical theorists, they previously taught at the University of Rohampton and are now Senior Lecturers in Creative Writing and Performance at Queen Mary University of London. Sterling karat gold this is their third novel, following Mad Bubble (2017) and We are made of diamonds, which the It was nominated for the 2019 Goldsmiths Prize… They are the first non-binary prize winners.

Speaking with New statesman Earlier this month, Weidner explained the need for “innovative” and “unconventional” fiction: “I began to think of British novel as – if not then – the technology of reproduction of the values ​​of the white middle class, aesthetics and a certain type of “acceptable” nationalism. So It has change, and not only subtly. In my experience, readers are more than willing to face new and unfamiliar forms of writing with curiosity and a sense of adventure, rather than fear and defensiveness, as is often assumed. “

V article for New statesman, Judge for the Goldsmiths Prize and New statesman writer Johanna Thomas-Corr described the enthusiasm with which Weidner writes: “The lives of marginalized people are often portrayed as miserable and gloomy, rather than joyful and cheerful. But Sterling karat gold finds poetry and pleasure in this community, its creativity, its diversity, its defiance. “

She continued: “His imagery and cultural references are rarely borrowed from literature, apart from music, art, fashion, football and theater. The 15th century Hieronymus Bosch hell panel is discussed alongside the adidas White Angel sneakers by Jeremy Scott. And Weidner is as fascinated with the career of Justin Fachanou, the first (and only) gay British footballer, as well as the artist Robert Colescott. “

Along with Stevens and Thomas-Korr, the jury included writer Kamila Shamsi and poet, playwright and writer Fred D’Aguiar.

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Former Goldsmiths Prize winners, in its ninth year, have included Aimer McBride, Ali Smith, Lucy Ellmann and John Harrison. Other books shortlisted for the 2021 award were Cashier 19 To Claire Louise Bennett, assembly To Natasha Brown, Shock To Kate Ridgway, This day of one sky To Leone Ross and little scratch To Rebecca Watson

Isabel Weidner will talk in Cambridge Literary Festival Virtual Winter Festival November 18th.


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