June 21, 2013
The Paris Literary Prize announces its 2013 winners
by Claire Kelley
The famous Paris bookstore Shakespeare & Company, in collaboration with The White Review, announced the winners of the 2013 Paris Literary Prize at a ceremony on Bloomsday, June 16th, 2013. Funded by Clydette and Charles de Groot of The de Groot Foundation, the prize of €10,000 prize is awarded for a novella written in English by a previously unpublished author and is judged by a panel of readers.
C.E. Smith, an American radiologist who lives in Louisville with his wife and children, was announced as the winner of the price for his novella titled Body Electric. He studied literature at Stanford and medicine at Vanderbilt. In a piece for Publishing Perspectives, Rebecca Carter, a literary agent with Janklow & Nesbit (UK) described her reaction to his reading after the announcement:
But it struck me, as I sat listening to the three prize-winners read at Shakespeare & Company on Sunday night, how important it is for a writer to feel part of a physical community. For the winner C.E. Smith, it was the first time he had read his work in public, despite the fact that he has been writing for years in parallel with his medical career. He could have posted his novella online and engaged in virtual dialogue with his readers, but would it have been the same as standing in a room once frequented by Lawrence Durrell, Anais Nin or William Burroughs, and talking to people about his work?
In 2011, the winner of the Paris Literary Prize was Rosa Rankin-Gee for The Last Kings of Sark ; the two runners-up were Adam Biles for Grey Cats, and Agustin Maes for Newborn. Rankin-Gee recently sold a novel that evolved out of her winning novella (and bears the same title) to St. Martin’s Press in the US and Virago in the UK.
Claire Kelley is the Director of Library and Academic Marketing at Melville House.