Author and Buddhist priest wins Women’s Prize for Fiction

US-Canadian author, film-maker and Zen Buddhist priest Ruth Ozeki has won this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction.

The award’s judges described her novel The Book of Form and Emptiness as a “celebration of the power of books”.

Her fourth novel, it tells the story of a teenage boy who finds solace in reading after the death of his father.

She was announced as the winner of the £30,000 prize at a ceremony in London, beating nominees including Elif Shafak, Meg Mason and Louise Erdrich.

‘Masterful storyteller’

Chair of the judges and fellow writer Mary Ann Sieghart said that in “an extraordinary year for fiction”, the book stood out for its “sparkling writing, warmth, intelligence, humour and poignancy”.

She said: “A celebration of the power of books and reading, it tackles big issues of life and death, and is a complete joy to read. Ruth Ozeki is a truly original and masterful storyteller.” (BBC)

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