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HomeNewsBiography of poet John Donne wins UK nonfiction guide prize

Biography of poet John Donne wins UK nonfiction guide prize


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LONDON — A guide that argues Elizabethan poet John Donne ought to rank alongside William Shakespeare as a literary genius has received Britain’s main nonfiction guide award

British author Katherine Rundell’s biography “Tremendous-Infinite: The Transformations of John Donne” was named winner of the 50,000 pound ($59,000) Baillie Gifford Prize at a ceremony in London on Thursday night time.

Rundell mentioned she is going to give her prize cash away to a refugee group and a climate-change charity — impressed by Donne’s most well-known strains: “No man is an island … any man’s loss of life diminishes me, as a result of I’m concerned in mankind.”

“There are individuals who might make higher use of that cash than I might,” Rundell advised The Related Press on Friday.

Rundell mentioned Donne — who through the years was a seafarer, a authorized scholar, a lawmaker and a priest — “burst out of the confines” of the poetic traditions of his time to talk about the ache and marvel of life.

“He understood that we’re profoundly defective and the physique is stuffed with decay,” she mentioned. “We’re basically type of a catastrophe, however probably the most miraculous catastrophe that there has ever been. He was in a position to maintain love and dread in the identical hand.”

She mentioned she hoped the guide, which took a decade to put in writing, would give readers “a set of instruments to unpick him, as a result of once you do crack a Donne poem it’s like cracking a secure. There may be gold inside.”

Journalist Caroline Sanderson, who chaired the judging panel, mentioned Rundell’s guide was a unanimous alternative by the six judges from amongst 362 books submitted for the prize.

She mentioned Rundell, who has printed a number of prize-winning novels for youngsters, had written “a masterpiece of ardour and persuasion,” that “sends you off on a journey of discovery.”

Sanderson mentioned the guide argues that Donne is “a author maybe as nice as Shakespeare, and a author we must always all learn for his writing on love, intercourse and loss of life.”

The Baillie Gifford Prize acknowledges English-language books from any nation in present affairs, historical past, politics, science, sport, journey, biography, autobiography and the humanities.

The opposite finalists have been Caroline Elkins’ “Legacy of Violence: A Historical past of the British Empire;” Sally Hayden’s “My Fourth Time, We Drowned: Looking for Refuge on the World’s Deadliest Migration Route;” Jonathan Freedland’s “The Escape Artist: The Man Who Broke Out of Auschwitz to Warn the World;” Anna Keay’s “The Stressed Republic: Britain And not using a Crown;” and Polly Morland’s “A Lucky Girl: A Nation Physician’s Story.”

Final yr’s winner was Patrick Radden Keefe’s “Empire of Ache: The Secret Historical past of the Sackler Dynasty,” an expose of the household that helped unleash the US’ opioid epidemic.

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