Saturday, June 27, 2015

Betty Trask award goes to Ben Fergusson's 'grittily evocative' debut

The Spring of Kasper Meier, a ‘superbly atmospheric’ story of postwar Berlin, takes £10,000 prize for first novels

Ben Fergusson
‘Completely blown away’ ... Ben Fergusson with Sarah Waters at the Betty Trask/Society of Authors award ceremony. Photograph: Adrian Pope
Following in the footsteps of former winners including Zadie Smith, Alex Garland and Hari Kunzru, the novelist Ben Fergusson has won the £10,000 Betty Trask award.

Running since 1983, following a bequest from the writer Betty Trask, the prize goes to a debut novel by a writer under the age of 35. It has a track record of spotting stars of the future: as well as Smith and The Beach author Garland, it has been won by Kiran Desai, before she went on to take the Booker, and by Jon McGregor, before he won the Impac.

The 34-year-old Fergusson, who also has a full-time job as art publisher at the Hayward gallery, won for his novel The Spring of Kasper Meier. Set in a desolate, post-war Berlin,  More

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