Isabel Waidner Wins 2021 Goldsmiths Prize

Sterling Karat Gold by Isabel Waidner has won the Goldsmiths Prize 2020 worth £10,000.

Is this book of genre interest? Survey says: Yes! A Goodreads review is rich in reassuring details:   

…The above, and more, all takes place in the first third of a wonderfully rich novel, one which gets increasingly Kafkesque (literally) and surreal and as it progresses, such as when Rodney picks up Sterling in his spaceship, which navigates in space and time via Google Earth and Street View. A spaceship that itself was first seen in a 14th century fresco from Visoki De?ani Monastery in Serbia… 

A more general idea of what the book’s about is given in the blurb from Peninsula Press:

Sterling is arrested one morning without having done anything wrong. Plunged into a terrifying and nonsensical world, Sterling – with the help of their three best friends – must defy bullfighters, football players and spaceships in order to exonerate themselves and to hold the powers that be to account.

Sterling Karat Gold is Kafka’s The Trial written for the era of gaslighting – a surreal inquiry into the real effects of state violence on gender-nonconforming, working-class and black bodies.

The Goldsmiths Prize, established in 2013, rewards “fiction that breaks the mould or extends the possibilities of the novel form.” Works must be written in English by authors from the UK or the Republic of Ireland, and be published by a publisher based in one of those countries.  

The 2021 Goldsmiths Prize judging panel members were Nell Stevens (writer of memoir and fiction and former lecturer in Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths), Fred D’Aguiar (poet, playwright, novelist and University of California professor), Kamila Shamsie (novelist, Women’s Prize for Fiction winner and a co-Vice-President of the Royal Society of Literature), and Johanna Thomas-Corr (journalist, book critic and New Statesman contributor).