This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Orwell prize: Christopher Hitchens honoured with memorial award

Widow accepts Hitchens' honorary prize, as Toby Harnden scoops prize with book the Ministry of Defence paid to pulp


Christopher Hitchens in New York in 2010. Photograph: Shannon Stapleton/REUTERS

That the 2012 Orwell book prize for political writing was won on Wednesday by Toby Harnden's Dead Men Risen, a book whose initial print run was pulped by the MoD, suggests a renewed appetite for trouble-making on the part of the prize's judges, in keeping with the presentation of a special memorial award to Christopher Hitchens's widow at the ceremony in the incongruous setting of the Church of England's Westminster HQ. A giant image of Orwell, a far more benign but still exacting Big Brother, gazed down at the sweltering guests from behind the podium.

Jean Seaton, director of the prize, had earlier noted that Siddhartha Deb's shortlisted The Beautiful and the Damned: Life in the New India was censored in India, and that Julia Lovell's The Opium War, another finalist, "would certainly be censored if the Chinese authorities recognised how mercilessly it slays illusions" about the war, "the founding myth of modern China".

In the case of Dead Men Risen, the story of the Welsh Guards' campaign in Afghanistan, censorship took the bizarre form of the MoD paying Harnden's publisher Quercus £151,450 to destroy 24,000 copies, even though the book had earlier passed a four-month-long pre-publication review by the department.

Read more

TAGGED: ANNOUNCEMENTS, CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS


RELATED CONTENT

NSS Conference: Challenging Religious...

- - - Comments

NSS Conference: Challenging Religious Privilege in Public Life Saturday 22 September 2012, 10am to 5pm, London - Keynote speaker Richard Dawkins

Press Release - New Executive Director...

- - The Clergy Project Comments

Press Release - New Executive Director Appointed

Portland Humanist Film Festival

- - Portland Humanist Film Fest Comments

Join us for the third annual Portland Humanist Film Festival, which will present feature, documentary, narrative and animated films that give expression to the humanist approach to life, based on reason, science, and ethics. A precise film and speaker schedule will be announced in the coming months.

UPdate - listen to the interview -...

- - RichardDawkins.net Comments

Richard is on BBC Radio World Service this evening 16th July, around 21.20 British Summer Time (= 20.20 GMT

Dawkinsia, new genus

Rohan Pethiyagoda, Madhava... Comments

Dawkinsia, new genus

Teresa MacBain to be Public Relations...

Press Release - The Clergy Project Comments

MORE

MORE BY JOHN DUGDALE

MORE

Comments

Comment RSS Feed

Please sign in or register to comment