The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale announced the inaugural winners of the Windham Campbell Prizes, a new global writer’s award created with a gift from the late Donald Windham and his partner, Sandy M. Campbell, and now one of the largest literary prizes in the world. Nine $150,000 prizes were awarded for outstanding achievement in fiction, nonfiction, and drama.
The recipients, who range in age from 33 to 87, are James Salter, Zoë Wicomb, and Tom McCarthy in fiction; Naomi Wallace, Stephen Adly Guirgis, and Tarell Alvin McCraney in drama; and Jonny Steinberg, Adina Hoffman and Jeremy Scahill in nonfiction.
“We hope to make this a truly global writer’s prize,” said Michael Kelleher, the prize program director. “Fifty-nine writers from around the globe were nominated, including from India, Pakistan, Jamaica, New Zealand, Australia, Trinidad & Tobago, South Africa, the United States, and the U.K.”
A prize jury in each category chose five finalists, from which the nine recipients were selected to receive awards. Prizewinners did not know they were nominated, and many expressed shock as well as gratitude on receiving the news.