Wales Book of the Year People’s Choice win
2 July 2018
Hummingbird, the latest novel by Cardiff University lecturer Dr Tristan Hughes, has won the People’s Choice award at Wales Book of the Year 2018.
Sponsored by Wales Arts Review in partnership with Literature Wales, the award is given to the book with the largest number of public votes in all three categories: poetry, fiction and creative fiction at the awards known as the literary highlight of the year in Wales.
The book made the shortlist of three works in the prized Fiction Award category, nominated alongside Crystal Jeans’ Light Switches Are My Kryptonite and Lloyd Markham’s Bad Ideas/Chemicals.
On behalf of the judging panel, broadcaster and author Carolyn Hitt said: “For me the judging process has been challenging and inspiring in equal measures. We had to make some brutal decisions to whittle down our choices. But this is a shortlist that reflects the diversity and quality of Welsh writing in English – from established names at the peak of their powers to the breakthrough of exciting new voices.”
In his latest novel, Hughes returns to the landscape of his youth in this vivid and poetic coming-of-age story about death, life, and the changes they bring. Set against the harsh, unforgiving beauty of the forests of northern Ontario, Hummingbird unravels a moving tale of loss, absence and redemption.
Tristan, part of the School of English, Communication and Philosophy, said: “I'm absolutely thrilled and honoured to win this award. It’s an amazing feeling to be recognised for your work.”
The award is the latest in a string of recognitions for the Canadian-born writer. Earlier this year Hummingbird scooped the Edward Stanford Award for Fiction with a Sense of Place.
Last month his short story, ‘Up Here’, received an O. Henry Award, a prestigious American literary prize awarded annually to the 20 best short stories published in the USA and Canada. The story, which originally appeared in the literary magazine, Ploughshares, will be published this autumn in the O. Henry Prize Stories 2018 anthology.
Born in northern Ontario and brought up on the Welsh island of Ynys Mon, Tristan Hughes continues to teach Creative Writing at Cardiff University. Author of the novels Eye Lake, Revenant, and Send My Cold Bones Home, as well as the short story collection, The Tower, the writer-academic is a winner of the Rhys Davies Short Story Prize.
The Wales Book of the Year Award, administered by Literature Wales, is presented to the best Welsh-language and English-language works first published in the preceding year in the fields of Poetry, Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction.