Guy Dammann writing in The Guardian on Tuesday April 29, 2008
Graham Robb, winner of the 2008 Ondaatje Prize, pictured with Christopher Ondaatje (left) at the award ceremony
Graham Robb, a literary and cultural historian who cycled through 14,000 miles of French countryside as part of the research for his latest book, has won the 2008 Ondaatje Prize. The £10,000 award, presented last night in a ceremony at the Royal Society of Literature in London, honours books which "evoke the spirit of a place".
Robb, who has written literary biographies of Balzac, Victor Hugo and Rimbaud, turned to the wider cultural history of France for The Discovery of France, considering the formation of French national identity between the Revolution and the first world war.