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  • blog imageThe Orwell Prize 2011 has gone to The Rule of Law by Tom Bingham. From the site "The Orwell Prize is Britain's most prestigious prize for political writing. Every year, we award prizes for the work - the book, the journalism and (since 2009) the blog - which comes closest to George Orwell's ambition 'to make political writing into an art'". This years winner was a unanimous decision apparently although unfortunately the author, a former master of the rolls, lord chief justice, and senior law lord, died last year.

    blog imageThe International Man Booker prize is an altogether more random affair. "Worth £60,000 to the winner, the prize is awarded every two years to a living author who has published fiction either originally in English or whose work is generally available in translation in the English language. The winner is chosen solely (arbitrarily?) at the discretion of the judging panel." And if Man Booker have a spare 60 grand to give away then best of luck to them and this years winner, Philip Roth is certainly not undeserving of such largesse.

    blog imageFinally, from an author who'll probably win some prizes comes a book we would have featured in our Book of the Week slot if there wasn't such a fight for what gets into it. Moth Smoke is all about a Pakistani banker with a hashish habit written by Mohsin Hamid, who brought us the brilliant Reluctant Fundamentalist.

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